ANC NEC member Tony Yengeni. Screengrab

Johannesburg - Former President Thabo Mbeki’s recent comments about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have upset some members of the ANC. 

ANC NEC member Tony Yengeni said he was angered by Mbeki’s comments and would raise his concerns at the party’s next meeting.

Mbeki, while speaking to the SABC, said Madikizela-Mandela should be remembered as part of a collective that fought against apartheid and not as an individual. He also said Madikizela-Mandela defied the ANC when she refused to disband the controversial Mandela Football Club.

Yengeni said he was shocked to hear such comments from Mbeki especially because he is regarded as an elder in the ANC. 

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“He is our elder, and from our elders we expect a lot. He should have known better and refrained from making such derogatory statements about Comrade Winnie. As a comrade I was very angered by his comments and I will raise this matter at the next meeting,” he said. 

“So let’s be careful about what we say. Let’s celebrate this life. If you have issues you can raise them after the mourning period, and write your books and host your lectures. For now let’s give comrade Winnie a proper send off,” said Yengeni who was speaking outside Madikizela-Mandela’s house on Thursday. 

Tony Yengeni speaking to the media outside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home. Video: Zintle Mahlati

ANC NEC members visited Madikizela-Mandela’s home on Thursday to meet with the family.

Deputy President David Mabuza launched a condolence book and encouraged members to sign it. He also spoke fondly of Madikizela-Mandela and what she meant to the ANC. 

The ANC has planned a ten-day programme to honour Madikizela-Mandela which will culminate in a memorial service and her funeral on April 14. 

Deputy President David Mabuza Picture: Zintle Mahlati

Hundreds of grieving mourners have visited her Soweto home since her death on Monday. 

Some came dressed in ANC regalia carrying flowers to place at her gate. Struggle songs and dancing by ANC members have become regular scenes at the home. 

Political Bureau