KZN ANC: Mbeki went overboard on land issue

DURBAN - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says former President Thabo Mbeki went overboard in his leaked document on land expropriation without compensation.

A document with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation logo questions the ANC’s stance on the land question.

Mbeki said the ANC, which led the fight against white-minority rule in South Africa, had "stood for the freedom of all humanity, black and white."

"The argument that has been advanced by the ANC leadership... about the land question communicates the firm statement that the ANC has changed in terms of its character," he wrote in a pamphlet leaked to the press. 

"It is no longer a representative of the people of South Africa. Rather, as its former president, Jacob Zuma, said, it is a black party!"

Mbeki said that Zuma had referred to the ANC as a "black" party last year.

The pamphlet was meant for internal discussion only, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation told AFP.

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According to the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Mbeki also failed to intervene intellectually on the subject matter.

"He (Mbeki) went overboard in terms of how he characterized the former president of the ANC,” said KZN ANC Secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli.

“Now what we are taught in the, movement by Mbeki and others before him is that the leadership of the ANC should avoid the temptation to cast aspersions to those who led before them. That’s what we are taught in the ANC.

“When I read that 23/24 page reflecting on the land question, radical economic transformation and trajectory of our country I felt that Thabo Mbeki was not only doing what he should have done and which is intervene intellectually to analyses our reality and produce some suggestion. But he was also somehow, directly questioning the understanding of the former president and his predecessor of the ANC, the trajectory the ANC has been pursuing over the past 106 years in terms of the national question. And I don’t think that should have been done in that way especially in public. 

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Ntuli believes Mbeki should have raised the issue internally in the ANC.

“He is the former president of our movement, he has a right to sit in the NEC. I think that that debate should have been more productive and more dignified if it was taking place internally in the ANC,” he said.

“So that when we go out, we go out with a united view of what we mean by the national question, what is it that national in the national question? Because what Thabo Mbeki is raising that, there is an argument that he seems to suggest that we are missing the point about what is question in the national question.”

- Additional reporting by AFP