Former President Thabo Mbeki addressing ANC members at former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's memorial service which was held at the Durban City Hall on the 17 September 2019. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
* Article has been updated.

Kimberley - Former president Thabo Mbeki has snubbed the ANC's January 8 celebrations. Mbeki last attended the January 8 festivities in 2012, when the party celebrated its centenary.

This weekend the ANC will celebrate it's 108th birthday in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

The formal festivities started on Wednesday as President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address at a cake-cutting ceremony in Galeshewe township in Kimberley.

The ANC extended an invitation to former president Thabo Mbeki, who according to the ANC, has 'excused himself from the event'.

The ANC has consistently invited Mbeki to the January 8 events since he left office in 2008, with the former president consistently turning down each invitation. He last attended in 2012.  

In 2008, the ANC's national executive committee resolved to remove Mbeki as state president after he was defeated by former president Jacob Zuma at the party's elective conference in Polokwane. The conference took place in December 2007.   

Mbeki duly resigned as state president. 

Later in 2008,  Independent Media reported that Mbeki was angry that the ANC had announced that he would campaign on its behalf after it fired him.

In a letter to then ANC president Jacob Zuma,  delivered to Luthuli House,  Mbeki complained that he had not been consulted by party bosses about whether he would be available to assist in the election campaign.

Mbeki is understood to have complained about the irony that the very ANC that recalled him from office because it had no confidence in him, saw fit to publicly announce that he would be expected to campaign for it.

Mbeki also raised the fact that he had been attacked for taking Judge Chris Nicholson's judgment - which implied he was guilty of political meddling and abusing state resources - on review.

The former president said the appeal had not been directed at the ANC, but was designed to protect his integrity.

Last year former president Jacob Zuma attended the January 8 celebration at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban but snubbed Ramaphosa's inauguration in May.

It is not known if Zuma will attend the main celebrating on Saturday.

** The article has been updated to reflect that former president Thabo Mbeki attended the ANC's 100th year celebrations in 2012. 

Politics Bureau