Since the sour relationship between the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its constituency, South Africa has been in tension with its leaders and the way of governance during President Zuma’s second term. After so many scandals following each other and the lack of accountability and remorse from the ANC.
As a result, there have been desperate requests from some citizens for the return of the seemingly favourite former States Man, Mbeki to make a return in the political game. As a result, it seems Mbeki has heard the cries of the nation and decided to write a long explanatory letter debunking the current situation of the ANC and how this oldest movement in the history of Africa has gotten where it is today – which is in a state of mess. In Volume 2 of Mbeki’s letter, he begins to explain that when the ANC became the ruling party in 1994, the organisation could not foresee as well as prepare for all the challenges it is facing right now, in terms of their performance.
“Part of what happened was that with much of our leadership deployed in the state executive structures‚ the legislatures and the administration‚ these could not pay as much attention to work in the ANC as they used to,” he explains. “At the same time there was now the demand that in addition to its normal tasks as a political organisation‚ the ANC had to grapple with the challenge to elaborate policies and programmes relating to government work.”
As a result, Mbeki states that the National Executive Council (NEC) had to meet more frequently, to discuss as well as break new ground when it comes to the functioning of the ANC and the transformation of the country through inventions at the executive, legislative and administrative levels. Essentially the plan of how the ANC should conduct itself was for the members of the ANC to;
“(i) to take part in the discussion and formulation of the policy of the Congress‚ and (ii) to criticise any official or decision of the Congress; such criticism shall be made to members of Congress or at a properly convened meeting of the members of the Congress.”
It also said that some of the Duties of a member were “(iii) to raise the level of his understanding of the political‚ economic and social problems of South Africa‚ and (iv) to explain the policy and programme of the Congress to the people.
To further transparency, Mbeki is said to pen down weekly letter in which he explains in-depth the decisions he made as president, as well as the controversies that were surrounding him during the time.
The sudden nostalgia over Mbeki’s governing tenure
Due to Mbeki’s ability to hold the ANC in accord and check during his tenure, as well as his determination for growth and economic stability in the country. Recently in an interview, former ANC treasurer, Mathews Phosa spoke about how the ANC still needs Mbeki.
“Mbeki is a great asset to this country and he will remain that," he said. "He is a strategist. He is a good leader. He is one of those leaders who was a shining example of strategy in action. He could find solutions where many people would see darkness," Phosa stated.
The former treasurer reiterated that despite Mbeki’s flaws and mistakes during his term, his leadership abilities and management of the economy remains unmatched. Phosa furthermore questioned why the former president is locked up in other African countries like, Sudan, why are we not making use of him as a nation? “We should make use of the wisdom he has in the sense of giving advice on difficult issues, like economic issues,” he added.
It is no doubt that under Mbeki’s term the economy performed relatively well. Compared to Zuma, Phosa stated that, “my view has always been that if there are personal differences, they should not become more important than national interests because if they [do], then we are acting incorrectly."
In addition, the ramifications of Zuma’s leadership is the reason why the international community has lost confidence in the country’s fiscal management. Phosa, concluded that regardless who is in charge of the country’s economic budget, the confidence that has been lost will not be gained anytime soon.