Yet another ANC member quits the party

Former minister of police Nathi Nhleko. Picture: Masi Losi

Former minister of police Nathi Nhleko. Picture: Masi Losi

Published Mar 5, 2024


Former minister of police Nathi Nhleko has become the latest ANC member to quit the party.

On Monday, Nhleko tendered his resignation from the ruling party, citing ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula as among his reasons for his decision to walk away.

He said Mbalula’s recent remarks about covering up for former president Jacob Zuma with regard to the Nkandla issue had contributed to his decision to leave the governing party.

Nhleko’s resignation comes just days after former ANC MP Mervyn Dirks resigned from the party to join the Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) party. It is, however, unclear if Nhleko will do the same.

The news of his resignation were confirmed by Nhleko’s region, Musa Dladla in KwaZulu-Natal, after receiving his seven-page resignation letter.

In a letter addressed to the Albertina Sisulu Branch secretary Tolo Fakazi, Nhleko said Mbalula’s accusations demonstrated “the bankruptcy, lunacy, and the defunct manner of thinking by the secretary-general”.

He said that had resulted in the degeneration of the once-glorious office in the movement.

Nhleko said he was disappointed about Mbalula’s recent remarks in which he had called a swimming pool a fire pool during the investigation into Zuma’s Nkandla residence.

In 2015, Nhleko produced a report which found that the culvert, chicken run, cattle kraal, swimming pool, amphitheatre and visitors’ centre at the Nkandla residence had formed part of security upgrades to Zuma’s home.

Nhleko said the rot in the ANC had made it difficult for him to recognise the party.

“Consequently, and regrettably, I resign from this African National Congress as its current values and principles are not aligned to mine,” Nhleko said.

“In the past few years, I have observed that I no longer recognise this ANC that I joined, the ANC whose only aspiration was to liberate our people. The ANC as a liberation movement spoke and acted strongly on good ethics; a collective approach; was people focused; and emphasised on humanity and freedom for all.”

Last month, he slammed Mbalula, describing him as the worst secretary-general in the ANC in its more than 112-year history.

Nhleko accused the ANC of moving away from its principles which he said had resulted in the selling of state assets as well as shifts in people-centred policies.

“The above stated points represent a deviation from the ANC founding principles, as starkly illustrated by (the) newly found emphasis on austerity measures. These austerity measures are characterised by severe reduction on social spending. For instance, social grants benefiting the elderly have been consistently increasing up until 2018 by 8% annually. Since 2018 the figure of 8% has been reduced to 4% annual increases, with a projected 2% to 3% annual increases for the Medium-Term Expenditure,” he said.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri acknowledged Nhleko’s resignation.

“We see nothing special (in Nhleko’s resignation), any member can resign. We have had members resign before.”