Two former ANC leaders giving the party a thumbs down is bad for ANC business

Former president Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Masi Losi Independent Newspapers

Former president Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Masi Losi Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 20, 2023


The developments in the ANC in the past three weeks suggest that the party has fallen out of favour with its former leaders.

Two weeks ago, ANC Veterans League deputy president Mavuso Msimang briefly resigned from the party he spent more than 64 years canvassing for.

However, he quickly made a U-turn on his decision following a meeting with the ANC leadership and commitments by the party to stamp out corruption among its ranks.

We also heard recently from former ANC and state president, Thabo Mbeki. He said he would not be campaigning for the ruling party which he and his father had led and fought for. That, he said, was due to similar reasons given by Msimang, who cited corruption as chief among his gripe with the ANC of OR Tambo and other stalwarts.

The final nail in the coffin came earlier this month when yet another former ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, announced that he would not be campaigning for the party and would instead join the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a recently registered political offshoot which has been recognised by the Electoral Commission of South Africa as a legitimate political party independent of the ANC.

The developments within and outside the party suggest that the ruling party will be facing its biggest test in the general elections next year. With a trust deficiency in full swing, it is expected that the party might suffer some form of humiliation and rejection at the polls.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

This is in spite of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recently saying the ANC would not fall below 50% in spite of a recent Zuma factor.

“To our detractors who think that the ANC is not going to perform well, who actually wish we should go below 50%, I want to say that those wishes are not going to be fulfilled. Those dreams are not going to happen,” said Ramaphosa during the wrap up of the 2019 elections manifesto.

If reports that the recently registered MK political party has amassed more than two million visitors to its website are anything to go by, then this could mean that the ANC would have its work cut out for it in trying to convince South Africans of its legitimacy as the only choice to move the country forward.

The ANC is engaged in formulating a strategy to counter Zuma’s “political chess move” many have described as one of the greatest in SA politics.

Will the real MK please stand up in the elections next year?

The Star

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