ANC SECRETARY-GENERAL CLARIFIES REFERENCE TO MBEKI AT THE HARRY GWALA STADIUM‘S RALLY ADDRESS
During my address at the Manifesto Review rally at the Harry Gwala Stadium in KwaZulu-Natal, I made reference to former President Thabo Mbeki in the context of the freedom of speech our veterans and former leaders enjoy in the ANC. This was meant to call into line those who are quick to criticise former leaders and veterans of the movement when they make what others regard as unpopular utterances.
It is rather unfortunate that there are people who chose to ignore the context of my remarks in reference to former President Thabo Mbeki at the rally, and chose to suggest that my remarks were an attack on President Mbeki. There could be nothing further from the truth. The context of my remarks relate to a phenomenon that is neither new in the ANC nor limited to President Mbeki. This relates to former leaders and veterans making candid remarks about the fortunes of the ANC or the conduct of some of its leaders. All our former leaders from former President Mandela to former Deputy President Motlanthe have made similar remarks.
When elders make remarks that are perceived as contradicting the party line or are seen as rebuking the leadership of the day, others are quick to draw parallels and suggest that there is a falling out between the current and former leaders. The revolutionary depth of our political education has taught us to take counsel from our elders and not hide behind insults because it is expedient to do so.
I have tremendous respect for former President Mbeki and enjoy an open communication line with him as an elder and a former leader of our movement. From time to time, I take counsel from him and he has been consistent in engaging with the leadership at NEC level on matters that concern the ANC.
Fikile Mbalula (SECRETARY-GENERAL)
ANC NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON
076 891 5420
ACTING NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
066 056 0911