Mayibuye Mandela: ANC should have worked with EFF and MK party, Ramaphosa should have resigned

Former president Nelson Mandela’s great grandson, and political activist Mayibuye Melisizwe Mandela. Picture: Screengrab / Newzroom Afrika

Former president Nelson Mandela’s great grandson, and political activist Mayibuye Melisizwe Mandela. Picture: Screengrab / Newzroom Afrika

Published Jun 18, 2024


Former president Nelson Mandela’s great grandson, Mayibuye “Melisizwe” Mandela has come out guns blazing, criticising the African National Congress (ANC) for working with the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the ongoing deliberations to form a government of national unity.

The outspoken political activist, in an interview with broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, said said the ANC votes were chipped away by former president Jacob Zuma and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) - parties which share common ideology with the ANC - so the former liberation movement should have co-opted these parties into government - instead of the DA.

“They (ANC) were supposed to be humble. The results of the elections were supposed to humble them and they were supposed to go to these political parties which hail from the ANC, those political parties that took their votes. The ANC votes, because of the failure to implement the Freedom Charter, went to the MK (uMkhonto weSizwe political party) and the ANC votes are still going to the EFF,” he said.

“They were supposed to approach those people (EFF and MK) because they share the same ideology. Those who fought for the liberation of this country spoke about nationalisation. What is new about nationalisation?”

The ANC, once led by globally renowned icon Nelson Mandela drastically fell in the May 29 general elections, receiving its worst election result since apartheid ended 30 years ago in South Africa.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela. File Picture: Shaun Best / Reuters

The ANC garnered 40% of the vote, losing its absolute majority in Parliament. However, President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to be sworn in for his second term in Pretoria on Wednesday after the party formulated a government of national unity incorporating its decades-old rival, the Democratic Alliance and other smaller parties.

The MK party led by former president Jacob Zuma, which garnered almost 15% of the total vote nationally, and the EFF led by former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, with almost 10% of the national vote, are not part of the incoming government of national unity which will run the seventh democratic administration of South Africa.

During the deliberations for the government of national unity, it was reported that the MK party insisted that Ramaphosa should step down - a condition which the ANC publicly declared non-negotiable.

Former president Jacob Zuma who now leads uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party. File Picture: Itumeleng English / Independent Newspapers

In the interview with Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday morning, Mayibuye Mandela said it made sense for Ramaphosa to step down.

“If it is the will of the people … the reason why people left (the ANC) is because of such things – they were not happy with the president. Actually, the president, the current president of this country is the only president who has failed elections, who has lost elections since 1994.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File Picture: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

“So he was supposed to humble himself and step aside, suka endleleni (get out of the way) and allow us young people to come into these spaces. They are ignoring and not investing in young people. We want to take over this country, and we will take it.”

Mayibuye Mandela said there are people within the high echelons of the ANC, who he is in contact with, and they inform him about their displeasure with the former liberation party working with the Democratic Alliance.

IOL has seen an open letter written by Mayibuye Mandela, addressed at Ramaphosa where the “activist” calls for a picket to be staged at the Union Buildings.

Mayibuye Mandela, a great grandson of former president Nelson Mandela. File Picture Leon Lestrade / Independent Newspapers

“If we fail to act now, it will be like the land issue - a topic we discuss but never resolve. To my generation, let us fight for our country so that future generations will not condemn us for our inaction. I call for a peaceful picket at the Union Buildings.

“It is time to take this to the streets and show that we demand better for our country,” Mayibuye Mandela states in his open letter as a “concerned citizen”.