Former President and ANC elder Thabo Mbeki is evidently frustrated with the decline of the governing party.
During a scathing address at the annual general meeting of the Strategic Dialogue Group (SDG) on Saturday, Mbeki laid bare his feelings about the governing party.
‘Renewed ANC led by criminals’
Mbeki roasted the party’s self-correcting measures and so-called renewal saying the ANC is being led by criminals.
He said the political quality of leaders in the party has declined over the years.
“Since we have come into government, we have attracted people who want to come into the ranks of the ANC, that have nothing about them, know nothing about the policies or values of the ANC.
“But they know that in the governing party if I behave myself properly I will become a leader, get into government and be able to steal public resources.”
Mbeki said the party failed to deal with the growing number of ‘wrong people’ in the movement since 1997 and has since escalated to a point where they now define the party.
Throughout his one-hour 40 minute speech, the former president while witheringly scornful didn’t name and shame dirty politicians in its ranks.
According to Mbeki, a provincial chairperson in one of the provinces said that 60% of the members in that province were corrupt.
He also referenced a podcast that was circulated soon after the last local government elections which revealed that the ANC in Newcastle did not campaign because if they campaigned and won they would have put a criminal in a leadership post.
Step aside, step down
Mbeki recalled a Free State MEC and PEC member who also owned a taxi business on the side. Mbeki said when news broke about the taxi violence and killings in the province, that member resigned from his post.
The member, according to Mbeki, realised the taxi violence scandal brought disrepute to the party, despite not being involved in the violence.
“Now that’s a comrade that understood the ANC, he understood what it means to be a member.”
“Anyone who won’t step aside, saying they are innocent until proven guilty, you must know for a word they are not ANC.”
ALSO READ: Motlanthe ‘tried, failed’ to stop Mbeki’s recall
Nelson Mandela sold out during the negotiations
Mbeki also addressed the notion that his predecessor and South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, ‘sold out’ during the transfer of power.
Later, there was an argument against a constitutional democracy because it took power away from the party and placed it in the courts and the hands of judges. Instead, a system of parliamentary sovereignty was favoured.
“That was accompanied by a sustained attack on the judges, systematic offences against the judiciary,” Mbeki said.
Mbeki also admitted that the party had made a ‘strategic mistake’ at the time of the transition of power in believing that all “old-order people” had been defeated and surrendered.
But the party did anticipate that some disgruntled old-order people would display their counter-revolutionary stance through acts of violence such as bombs and assassinations.
“Mandela made it an absolute point never to miss a meeting of the committee dealing with matters of security because of his preoccupation with this thing.”
“The strategic mistake was that we didn’t think that the counter-revolution would come at us from inside.
Mbeki recalled how he and former Defence minister, Joe Modise, went to the police and state security trying to identify ‘counter revolutionaries’ who may have infiltrated the party at the time. While the pair had a list of names, they were never able to identify enemy agents or flush out the infiltrators.
“I’m saying we were looking for the counter-revolutionaries that were going to come at us from outside, but it was inside.
“It’s got a political platform, this thing that Mandela sold out, comes from that platform. This thing about overturn the platform and give it to parliament, comes from that.”
Mbeki said it was time for the party to stop pussy footing around the notion that the counter-revolutionary was set up to come to the party.
“All these destructions we see at the state institutions, it’s a very systematic process.”
Mbeki said the ANC’s counter-revolution is still alive and active to this day.
The capture of Sars is treason
Mbeki was candid in his assessment of the state capture of the country’s tax revenue service, saying those implicated in the capture of Sars committed treason.
“These treasonable acts are spelt out in detail in the Nugent report and the Zondo report and, again, the persons responsible are identified by name.”
Both reports revealed that Sars had been seized and dismantled during the state-capture era.
ANC Elective Conference must be a defining event
Mbeki said the movement’s NEC needed to decide what type of leadership was going to emerge in December.
“There are many comrades saying If I am nominated I am available please elect me. And not one explains why they must be elected?
“We have to look at track records of these comrades who are standing.”
He also reflected on the Phala Phala scandal hanging over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s head, saying the party needs to prepare for a scenario in which the president may have a prima farcie case to answer to.
Mbeki was referring to the farm heist in which millions in foreign currency stashed in the president’s private farmhouse was stolen and subsequently covered up.