ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang is back in the ANC fold after he retracted his resignation from the party following a meeting with ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.
Msimang’s withdrawal of his resignation followed a meeting facilitated by the ANC Veterans’ League.
He resigned last week citing “endemic corruption, with devastating consequences on the governance of the country and the lives of poor people, of whom there continue to be so many.”
Msimang had noted in his resignation letter the dramatic decline in the ANC’s popularity due to perceptions that its members and “deployees” were corrupt, and that the deployment of unsuitable people accounted for the government’s deplorable levels of service to the public. But he has since made an 360-degree about-turn.
Mbalula had accused the party’s veterans of campaigning against the ANC instead of using their direct line to the ANC’s leadership to discuss their concerns.
He also accused Msimang of submitting his resignation via the media and accused him of being bribed to join outgoing FirstRand chairperson Roger Jardine’s new party, Change Starts Now.
This was denied by Msimang, who regarded Mbalula’s comments as an insult and demanded an apology.
On Thursday, ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said the leadership of the ANC would act with urgency to address the unethical behaviour and ill-discipline of its members, including leaders of the party.
“We are determined that only members whose reputations are beyond reproach will be included in our list of candidates for Parliament and provincial legislatures.
“This means that those implicated by the Zondo Commission will not be included in our lists if their names have not been cleared by the ANC integrity committee,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.
She also said they were pleased that Msimang agreed to withdraw his resignation and would continue to speak up against any malfeasance impacting the interests of society.
“The ANC will continuously seek the wise counsel of the elders of the ANC in whose footsteps we walk.
“The SG regrets that he made comments that impugned the integrity of Cde Msimang, suggesting that he was vulnerable to taking a bribe from a newly established political formation, or, for that matter, any other source,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.
Speaking to “The Star”, political commentator Professor Siphamandla Zondi said Msimang’s U-turn should not come as a surprise as it was forced by circumstances which he explained in his resignation letter last week.
“This withdrawal should not come as a surprise because we had that he was prevented by the the veterans’ league and other stalwarts of the ANC, who had reached out to him to try and address his issues.”
He said the ANC has undertaken to to address some of the issues.
“If the party addresses the issues explained in his letter, then he would have achieved his goal that no one with a known allegation in corruption and those named in the Zondo report would be allowed to stand for positions. I guess he is happy with that concession, which is why he has decided to go back to the party, and be able to raise his voice internally,” Zondi said.