Former President Thabo Mbeki speaks at the media briefing on the ANC pavilion in Rand Show. Picture: Dimpho Maja/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former president Thabo Mbeki has expressed support for ANC veterans who have called for the removal of tainted candidates from the party’s list of representatives.

Mbeki was speaking on Tuesday at the Rand Easter Show in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg, where he campaigned for the ANC for the first time since he left office more than ten years ago.

“I think the veterans of the ANC were very correct to raise the matter, to say 'Look, from what we can see in terms of what is happening, we think the following people should not be on the ANC list,'” Mbeki said.

Several leaders on the ANC list, including Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane, have been implicated in Bosasa-linked scandals at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

The party has since taken its list of candidates to the party’s integrity committee, which is comprised of the ANC’s elders, to make a recommendation.

Mbeki said the ANC’s attitude towards the rejection of the list and the recommendation of the integrity committee had to be consistent with its commitment for renewal and correction of mistakes the party admitted to have allowed, including corruption.

“Those views of the integrity committee will not remain secret and if the integrity committee say we don’t think that Thabo Mbeki is proper to be our public representative in parliament for the following reasons, that is the statement of the integrity committee to the national executive committee of the ANC in a formal sense, but it is actually a statement to the South African people,” Mbeki said.

“The matter of that list is not closed because the NEC having asked the integrity committee to look into the matter, has got to respond to what it would have said,” he added.

Mbeki said was confident once again to convince people to vote for the ANC, after he withdrew from active politics under his successor Jacob Zuma, who defeated him in 2007 in Polokwane.

He accused ANC under Zuma of covering wrongdoing while it continued to claim it had a good story to tell.

“There was a period where I could not personally, in all honesty, come and say ‘David please vote for the ANC’ knowing very well the wrong things that were happening. It would not be honest of me to go and talk to people like that,” he said.

Political Bureau