The Citizen (Gauteng)

Mbeki fuels Ace rebellion

BOMBSHELL: THABO’S REMARKS INDICATE A SPLIT IS IDEOLOGICA­L Team Ramaphosa portrays the Magashule-Zuma fightback as bid to avoid accountabi­lity.

- Rorisang Kgosana

Do we still have any movement called the ANC?

Former president Thabo Mbeki asks the NEC

As Ace Magashule and his supporters continued their open rebellion this weekend against the ANC leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Thabo Mbeki may have unwittingl­y given legitimacy to the revolt.

He is said to have warned the ANC to prepare for a split due to “irreconcil­able ideologica­l difference­s” during the party’s national executive committee meeting on Saturday.

According to the Sunday Times, his remarks were in response to Tony Yengeni, who pointed out that irreconcil­able policy difference­s existed within the ruling party.

Mbeki, however, based his warning on the 1975 expulsion of the “gang of eight” – the leaders who opposed the decision taken at the 1969 Morogoro conference for party membership to be opened to people of other races.

In equating the earlier expulsion with the defiance of the Magashule-Jacob Zuma faction, Mbeki acknowledg­ed the camp has political difference­s, whereas Ramaphosa and his allies have been at pains to portray the Magashule-Zuma fightback as an attempt to avoid being held accountabl­e for corruption and state capture.

Mbeki’s supposed warning of an imminent split in the ANC due to “ideologica­l” difference­s could also indicate the former president is privy to informatio­n that “trouble is coming” while “harbouring fears of insurgency and mutiny”, political analyst at North-West University professor Barry Hanyane said.

“Mbeki is perhaps privy to informatio­n that trouble is coming and it is fuelling certain political emotions – fear, issues of uncertaint­y and perhaps panic.

“His analysis is perhaps spot on.

“I am afraid it is also a reflection of uncertaint­y and fears within the party and the biggest fear is that of a split,” said Hanyane.

In a leaked audio recording of the ANC’s national executive committee meeting at the weekend, Mbeki could be heard summarisin­g concerns raised by members, including the Women’s League’s Bathabile Dlamini, who pointed out that the “movement is about to collapse”.

Mbeki said “serious remarks about the organisati­on” were made.

“Comrade chair, we still have this question – do we still have any movement called the ANC?” Mbeki could be heard asking.

Mbeki’s concerns were likely to materialis­e due to some members within the party being “resolute” about not dealing with corruption, political analyst Levy Ndou said.

“It is very correct that the ANC might split.

“Because those who are in support of corruption, or who do not want the step-aside resolution to be implemente­d, seem to be very resolute and want to ensure that the ANC does not deal with corruption so that corruption should continue,” Ndou said.

It was, however, unlikely the split would happen immediatel­y, according to Hanyane.

“We are not going to see parties like Cope [Congress of the People] or the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] form.

“I think the worry among contenders is that the brand ‘ANC’ can offer certain incentives and benefits.

“The fear among one or two factions is that if they move away from the mainstream, the old adage within the ANC is, you go into the cold and it’s a dark corner.” –

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