Former President Thabo Mbeki’s vote is no longer a secret as he was seen openly campaigning for the ANC, saying the party recognised it made mistakes.
While speaking at the Rand Easter Show on Tuesday afternoon, 23 April 2019, former President Thabo Mbeki said it would have been dishonest of him to campaign for the African National Congress (ANC) in previous years while it was “veering off course.”
Joined by Gauteng Premier David Makhura and ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula, Mbeki was campaigning for the ruling party ahead of the 8 May elections and began by referring to the party’s manifesto, applauding the section where the party admitted to having made mistakes.
“For many years, as you will recall, we have had different approaches to issues. People have been saying that we [ANC] have a good story to tell.
“The language the manifesto uses is ‘we have veered off course’, in acknowledging that it has made mistakes. It also speaks about the consequences thereof, being corruption and lack of integrity,” Mbeki said.
The former president has, in the past, not campaigned for the ANC and during this year’s campaign trail, he said that the party made very important observations about, and owned up to, its mistakes.
“In that period, I could not, in all honesty go to a person and say, ‘vote ANC’, knowing very well the wrong things that were happening. It would not be honest of me.
“That is why it becomes possible for me now to say vote ANC. 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,” Mbeki explained.
He also touched on the party’s controversial parliamentary list and said it was up to the ANC’s integrity committee to decide on the matter.
“The issue of the lists obviously comes up … The ANC has got its own structures and what has happened again, as you know, is that that whole list was given to the integrity committee of the ANC.
“And I am told that the integrity committee has looked at that list and has its own views. Those views of the integrity committee will not remain secret … We need to wait to see what happens with that,” he said.