Some people take a night to sleep on a big decision. But former President Thabo Mbeki has taken the best part of a decade to finally realign himself with the ANC. Ahead of the 2019 Elections, he has handed Cyril Ramaphosa a huge PR boost by throwing his weight behind the current head of state.
Mbeki was ousted as president back in 2008, due to his role in the spy tapes saga which eventually exonerated Jacob Zuma. He never threw his support behind Msholozi however and made it clear he could not support the ANC when it was moulded in JZ’s image.
However, after 14 months of Cyril Ramaphosa running the show, time seems to have healed all wounds for Thabo Mbeki. He was speaking at the Rand Easter Show in Johannesburg on Tuesday and explained why he feels he can now tell voters to back the ANC next month.
Why Thabo Mbeki is now supporting the ANC:
Convinced by the manifesto
Mbeki told the crowd that the ANC’s manifesto clearly and concisely accepts that things haven’t been going to plan for the party. He says this is a different approach to years gone by, where other senior members would simply say “we have a good story to tell”. The ex-leader welcomed the section which apologises for “veering off course”.
An acknowledgement of failure
Honesty is certainly the best policy for Thabo Mbeki. He again repeated his belief that the desire to stop “veering off course” finally won him back, and said that these “acknowledgements” of failure show the public that the ANC is now taking accountability for its misdeeds.
“The fact that we admit that we have veered off course resulting in corruption, means we’re making a commitment to the public that we’re going to have to deal with those matters and, therefore, there is a degree of accountability of the ANC to the public.”
Clear policy frameworks impress Mbeki
Mbeki was also happy with the “detailed commitments” he reckons the ANC have made in several key areas. The party’s wandering son told his audience that their manifesto addresses some of his own concerns and praised the direction the ANC have vowed to take on matters relating to “the economy and land”:
“The organisation is trying to make a detailed commitment on what to do with economy, social cohesion, the land … in the context that we don’t want to continue veering off course, and continue saying that we ‘have a good story to tell’ when things are not going well.”
Watch Thabo Mbeki explain his ANC U-turn here:
— Mr Fearfokkol | Forever Young (@MbalulaFikile) April 23, 2019