The headline is a reflection of what the former president said and not his exact words. Thabo Mbeki, as culled from The Citizen, asserted that recalling President Zuma wouldn’t fix the problems that have bedevilled the ANC.
He upheld that the entire ANC NEC, not only Zuma must take the blame for the party’s dwindling popularity. To him, even if Zuma is axed, it wouldn’t help ANC regain its support.
Mbeki reportedly said if he’s asked: “What’s your opinion of Jacob Zuma? Do you think that he has to go in order for the ANC to increase their dropping vote share?”
He would say: “No, I don’t”. That he said, would be his response because Mr Zuma isn’t the sole decision maker of the ANC. “There are wrong things that are happening with the ANC” he said, “but I think it’s the fault of the collective leadership.”
Mbeki buttressed thus:
“For instance, the ANC has a national executive committee: a body which takes decision for the ANC between the conferences where the whole party meets, and that is the body that must take responsibility for what’s gone wrong.
Even if you remove President Zuma, let us say just hypothetically, it could change nothing if you didn’t change the national executive committee. So you need to look at the whole national executive committee, the decision and actions they have taken and not taken.
It is not just a matter of looking at the President of the ANC, I think it is basically a matter of looking at the national executive committee, which includes the president, to see what to do.”
Mbeki’s sentiment is similar to the party’s chief whip resignation call for the entire ANC NEC. Jackson Mthembu had warned that the ruling party could be butted out of power in the 2019 elections if the entire ANC NEC refuse to heed his resignation call.