Some ANC stalwarts appear to be turning their back on the ANC, with Mbeki reportedly citing ‘rampant corruption’ as a reason.
Earlier this week, The Citizen reported that former president Thabo Mbeki had been approached by the ANC in the person of Joburg Mayor Parks Tau to assist with campaigning with only two weeks to go to elections on August 3.
Our sources, however, reliably informed us that Mbeki was reluctant to come out in support of President Jacob Zuma’s government and ANC.
On Friday, the Mail & Guardian reported that, aside from Mbeki, others bearing a family name that has become synonymous with not only the glory days of the ANC but “struggle royalty”, the Tambos, have also reportedly told the ruling party that they are unwilling to be seen endorsing Zuma’s leadership. The M&G reported that Mbeki cites “blatant corruption” among his reasons for not wanting to support the ANC’s municipal elections campaign.
One of Oliver Tambo’s young family members has now reportedly even endorsed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), while others in the family have “expressed their disgust with the ANC”.
The paper spoke to members of the family in the Eastern Cape, one of whom, 57-year-old Toysie Tambo (the granddaughter of Tambo’s eldest brother Willie) “lives in a rundown RDP house” and accused the ANC of having forgotten them. She said she would vote for the EFF on August 3. She said it was because of “that boy” Malema, who “didn’t hide things”.
Other Tambo family members the paper spoke to expressed similar disappointed sentiments, although they were not interested in the EFF. When the M&G contacted OR Tambo’s son Dali Tambo for comment, he said that his family should continue to vote ANC because they were “still part of the ANC family” and the sun would shine on them because “change is coming”.
This is not the first “struggle royalty” family to express disappointment with the ANC. Ghaleb Cachalia joined the DA and is now the DA mayoral candidate for Ekurhuleni. At the time he announced his shift in allegiance he said that he was not abandoning the ANC, but that “the ANC has abandoned me”.
The Friday paper added, in another report, that Mbeki had “politely declined” the invitation to campaign for the ANC. Aside from his concerns about corruption, he reportedly has also not “forgiven the ANC for the manner in which he was treated when the party recalled him in 2008”.
Mbeki also refused to campaign for the ANC in 2009, shortly after his recall.
Johannesburg mayor and the ANC regional chairperson Tau met Mbeki on Monday at the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in Killarney, Johannesburg.
Tau said the meeting with Mbeki was important.
“It was a particularly important period because we are literally running two election campaigns,” Tau told The Citizen yesterday. “We are running a campaign to lead the city of Johannesburg in as much as we are running a campaign to lead the world. We thought it would be important that we keep him updated about both campaigns but also about the work we have been doing.”
When asked if Mbeki would campaign for the ANC, as the date for the local government elections draws closer, Tau would only say: “We will keep you posted.”
The Citizen has since then repeatedly asked the ANC for comment in relation to Mbeki’s attitude to the upcoming election, but we have so far not received any unambiguous response.