In its attempt to intensify its election campaign for the upcoming general elections, the ANC hopes to use former president Thabo Mbeki’s experience and stature to boost the party’s image.
The party’s head of elections, Mdumiseni Ntuli, said there was an expectation from the ANC that once the manifesto was launched, all veterans and former leaders of the movement would come to assist in campaigning for the organisation.
“We have not drafted president Mbeki’s schedule because we have not yet launched our manifesto formally.
“Once the launch has been done away with, there is an expectation from members of the ANC, but most importantly from our senior members and veterans which Mbeki belongs to as one of the most senior leaders of our movement.
“Once all that has been done, all these leaders would then come and assist the ANC as they have done in the past,” Ntuli added.
He continued to say that all veterans and former leaders of the ANC were also concerned about the situation in the country, therefore they would not sit and do nothing.
One senior ANC member revealed to The Star that Ntuli was referring to former ANC president Jacob Zuma when he said former leaders were worried about the “situation” that was happening in the country.
The senior leader said the fact that Zuma was endorsing the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party as opposed to the ANC did not sit well with many of them within the party’s ranks.
“We honestly are running around like headless chickens; we don’t have a response politically to what Zuma announced last year on December 16.
“We are too emotional to deal with that statement, and the fact that he remains popular among ANC members and South Africans leaves a bitter taste in our mouths,” the member added.
Speaking on 702 on Tuesday, Ntuli said both Mbeki and Zuma did not enjoy the same status in the movement, saying that his party was of the view that Mbeki’s views on the party have always been critical and constructive.
“President Mbeki has provided critical advice in the movement and he would continue to do so, and his support doesn’t end with the current leadership but also contributed to ANC lekgotla.
“Recently, he contributed on the direction of the movement and what the party needs to do to ensure that the movement stays on course.”
Furthermore, Ntuli said Mbeki would continue with the same task that he has been doing for the past many years.
He said it was critically important that the ANC goes with all its arsenals into this year’s election as they have been faced with many challenges to help convince the masses.
However, Mbeki had recently told reporters that he was still not sure if he would be able to go and campaign and tell people to vote for the ANC.