INTERVIEW: ANC veteran Khulu Mbatha speaks on party's challenges


Johannesburg, 25 March 2017 - The ANC was not ready to govern when it took power in 1994. eNCA's Thulasizwe Simelane sat down with ANC veteran, Khulu Mbatha? to explore some of the book's main themes.

JOHANNESBURG – ANC veteran, Khulu Mbatha's hard hitting book, Unmasked - why the ANC failed to govern, looks set to cause a stir within the governing party.

In the book, which launched on Friday, Mbatha argues that the ANC was not ready to govern in 1994.

A party veteran of more than 40 years, many of which were spent in exile.

Mbatha is perhaps best known for his tenure as former President Kgalema Motlanthe's special advisor.

In his book, he seeks to put historical perspective to the ANC's current challenges in government and inside the party.

He concludes that the party was not ready to govern when it took over, and had no specific plans for the country's economy, while still operating in exile.

“The problems that the ANC confronted outside, especially between 1960 and 1969 made it impossible to think positively about the economy. If you look at the strategy and tactics document, the economy is discussed and described in the strategy as belonging to the enemy, when it's our workers who will make it possible for the economy to function. And then we looked at those workers and said they are the ones who must destroy this economy because we were fighting,” he said.

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Mbatha argues that this lack of concrete economic plans before the ANC took power, resulted in disjointed implementation of policies such as the national development plan.

“Where does the NDP originate from? It was only adopted in 2012. What was there before? There were more than 5 other programmes - GEAR, ASGISA, RDP. Can you change your strategy every 3 to 5 years, you change it to something else? When you look deeply you realise that it was changed because new people came into office and they changed it like you change curtains and chairs and furniture in your office. You can't deal with policy like that,” said Mbatha.

Mbatha is one of the more than one hundred ANC stalwarts who've expressed grave concern about the party's trajectory.

He said President Jacob Zuma should have resigned, following last year's Nkandla judgment.

READ: ANC veteran Zola Skweyiya calls for Zuma's resignation

“A cadre of the ANC, when he or she sees that things are no longer going right, you resign on your own.”

He believes the priority right now should be given to a consultative, rather than a policy conference, in order to deal with the malaise before December's elective gathering.

* Watch Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the full interview in the video gallery above