OPEN LETTER TO FORMER PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI

Dear Cde Mbeki

 

The events that came to pass in our country in the last week have left me very little

option, but to address you directly on the matters at hand.

 

I am certain that you are painfully aware that the release of the transcripts of the

conversations between Ngcuka and McCarthy, not only sent shockwaves through the

nation, but through our movement. The NPA briefing finally bought closure to a

painful episode of your reign both as President of the Republic and of the ANC. An

episode one hopes will never come to pass ever again in the history of our movement.

 

It is a sad reality that the phenomenon we are dealing with today is a result of your

actions of conniving, manipulating people and advancing politics of patronage.

Despite the fact that you were a democratically elected President, you chose to run

both the organisation and the country with a cabal which sought to commandeer

everyone along your thinking and vision, which at times ran contrary to what the

ANC stood for.

 

Mandela led the ANC with distinction, and acknowledged at all times that he will

always be subject to its authority and directives, even after he left the office of ANC

President. His leadership at the helm of the ANC continues to inspire our forward

momentum and his wisdom will remain a point of reference for generations to come.

 

Mandela’s wise words, an icon of our liberation struggle, an embodiment of the

ANC’s values, continue to reverberate to this day. At the time of your acceptance of

your election as President of the ANC at the Mafikeng Conference in 1997, Madiba

said, “…here are the reigns of the movement – protect and guard its precious legacy;

defend its unity and integrity as committed disciples of change; pursue its popular

objectives like true revolutionaries who seek only to serve the nation… As an ordinary

member of the ANC I suppose that I will also have many privileges that I have been

deprived of over the years: to be as critical as I can be; to challenge any signs of

‘autocracy from Shell House’; and to lobby for my preferred candidates from the

branch level upwards… I look forward to that period when I will be able to wake up

with the sun; to walk the hills and valleys of Qunu in peace and tranquillity. And I am

confident that this will certainly be the case because, as I do so, and see the smiles on

the faces of children which reflect the sunshine in their hearts, I will know, comrade

Thabo and your team, that you are on the right track; you are succeeding. ”

 

Having reflected on Mandela’s words, I am certain that you either did not hear his

wise words, or you deliberately elected not to take heed of them. His challenge to

you to defend the unity and integrity of the ANC was central to his message and

should have been a beacon in your leadership of the ANC. The smiles on the faces of

the children are yet to reflect the sunshine in their hearts, because that moment is yet

to come.

 

Mandela handed you a vibrant and united ANC, yet at the twilight of your Presidency,

you chose to betray everything that Mandela and those that came before him stood

for, struggled for, and laid down their lives for. In a moment of intoxication with power, you forgot Madiba’s wise counsel and allowed our glorious movement to stumble on the edge of an abyss.

 

When your cabal was finally defeated in Polokwane because of its actions and underhanded tactics at securing a third term for you as a President of the ANC, they went into an elaborate conspiratorial mode, famously dubbed “the fightback strategy,” which clearly carried your blessing. It is one’s considered view that it was the failure of this strategy that led you and your lieutenants to spawn the so-called Congress of the People as a vehicle to fight the ANC and undermine its hegemony and legacy.

 

It is a sad day in our nation that one has to allude that your legacy, at its pinnacle, has only brought us shame and disgrace, overshadowing what would have otherwise been a commendable political career. It is not my place to pass judgement, but am convinced that history will judge you very harshly for what you have come to represent in the latter day.

 

I find it rather instructive that in your reaction to the release of the Ngcuka/McCarthy transcripts you chose to pose the question as to how did the tapes come to be in the possession of the ANC President’s lawyers. The more fundamental issue which I would have expected would be your primary preoccupation would be how did you fail the nation so badly such that the chain of events over the last nine years landed us in the position we find ourselves in today. How did the state apparatus become so embroiled in partisan politics that sought to rip our movement apart such that not even the highest office in the land had the political will to put brakes on the rot that was settling in?

 

While the movement may take collective responsibility for the actions of our government as a ruling party, however, my heart bleeds that the relationship of trust the ANC conferred on you in Mafikeng was broken. The mantra of your Presidency, “the rule of law” was betrayed in the most vulgar way possible.

 

  • When spy allegations were levelled at Bulelani Ngcuka, then National Director of Public Prosecutions, you were swift in your appointment of the Heffer Commission to probe those allegations as an attempt to protect him;
  • When the infamous off-the-record briefings conducted by Bulelani Ngcuka came to light, where Ngcuka is alleged to have made libellous remarks about Jacob Zuma, who was the Deputy President of the Republic at the time, you conveniently turned a blind eye and failed to act;
  • When Bulelani Ngcuka, flanked by then Minister of Justice, Pennuel Maduna addressed a media briefing wherein he suggested that Cde Zuma had a case to answer, but he will not prosecute him, you once again conveniently failed to act on what was a blatant violation of Cde Zuma’s rights;
  • You then proceeded to appoint Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as Deputy President of the Republic as a reward to the loyalty of the Ngcukas;
  • When the Public Protector pronounced on the violation of Cde Zuma’s rights, his findings were met with scorn, and again, no action was forthcoming on your part;
  • When the National Intelligence Agency expressed alarm about the unlawful activities of the Scorpions, once again you did nothing;
  • When the Browse Mole report came to light, which was produced by the Scorpions, you were quick to dismiss it as work of counter-revolutionary forces, and proceeded to ignore the recommendations of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. In an interesting twist or irony, McCarthy, who was the head of the DSO at the time was rewarded with a
  • handsome golden handshake and a recommendation for a high ranking job with the World Bank, at a time when he and those who were responsible for the Browse Mole report should have been under investigation;
  • You did not hesitate to destroy a relationship that spanned decades between yourself and Billy Masetlha when he raised concerns about the allegedly hoax emails that were making rounds, and you defined your relationship with him as irretrievable.
  • You continued to protect Jackie Selebi, the National Police Commissioner and did not hesitate to suspend Vusi Pikoli, the National Director of Public Prosecutions when he sought to arrest Selebi, for reasons known only to yourself;
  • You dismissed Cde Zuma, then Deputy President of the Republic, on the basis of inferences in the Shabir Shaik trial. Interestingly, you were quick to cry foul when Justice Nicholson made far reaching findings in his judgements and drew inferences on your perceived interference with due processes of law;
  • You failed to take the nation into confidence and confirm that you were the author of the now famous letter to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) on the arms deal, a letter which was a central piece of evidence at the Shaik trial;
  • You conducted briefings to ANC structures, religious community, opposition parties (particularly the DA) on how corrupt Cde Zuma was, in an attempt to garner public support and sympathy, and whereby you arrogated yourself the role of being a judge in Cde Zuma’s persecution;
  • You were highly implicated as a central player in the compilation of a dossier which sought to defame Cde Zuma in the run-up to Polokwane, which was distributed among ANC delegates at conference;
  • You failed to engage the leadership of the ANC in a face to face engagement, and you reduced your relationship with Cde Zuma to an exchange of letters, whose contents you leaked to Terror Lekota;
  • You flatly refused to campaign for the ANC, despite your assertion that you remain a loyal member of the ANC, and demanded that a letter be written to you in this regard. It was the first time ever that a cadre of the ANC had to be written a letter in order for them to campaign for the ANC. Not even Mandela ever made such a demand on the ANC. Such practice is foreign to the tried and tested traditions of the ANC and can best be described as anti-ANC;

 

It is therefore my considered view that you left the state apparatus in absolute disarray and the state machinery completely paralysed.

 

It is equally interesting that you believe the Inspector-General will save the day in what has become public humiliation of Ngcuka and McCarthy. The fundamental question that must preoccupy the Inspector-General is not how the tapes found their way to the ANC President’s lawyers, but rather how deep did this conspiracy ran and to ensure that relevant organs of state act swiftly to bring the perpetrators to book.

 

What happened to the values of the ANC, which at some point in your political career embodies and taught others? What happened to the ethos that says the ANC is bigger than all of us, we are but humble servants of this revolutionary movement? What happened to the pursuit of the founding ideals of the ANC, which the giants of our revolution who include Cdes Langalibalele Dube, Sol Plaatjie, Walter Sisulu, Moses Kotane, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and many others personified?

 

There remains little doubt that the establishment of COPE has your blessings and you continue to encourage them to swear by your name because you do not believe that the ANC can advance the age of hope under the stewardship of Cde Zuma, and that it will survive without you.

 

I doubt if today you were president, this conspiracy that has come to light would have been uncovered.

 

Fikile Mbalula

HEAD OF ORGANISING AND CAMPAIGNS AND MEMBER OF THE ANC

NEC AND NWC

Writing in his personal capacity

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6 Comments

Filed under ANC succession scramble, Commentary, Politics, South African Government

6 responses to “OPEN LETTER TO FORMER PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI

  1. Sonwabo Ngqotsha

    Dear Learned Comrades,

    I appreciate the kind of politician Fikile Mbalula has turned out to be lately. First he acknowledges that things have been difficult without former ANC President Thabo Mbeki on the campaign team. Secondly, he finds it crucial to state that the former president didn’t find the current president capable of being state president by conspiring ways to bring him down. Finally, and most importantly, he manifests just what a great little accident Zuma has made in handing this little political infant such powers as he did.

    Well, I should admit, this should have taken some good expensive liquor, great thinking coupled with guts. Ofcourse, for those of you who did not know, Zuma is a great disaster of Mbeki’s misjudgement, as Mbalula is proving to be of Zuma’z. It is a norm in the ANC to misjudge characters. That’s what you are bound to get when you have talent in abundance anyway.

    Let’s break this down should we: Thabo Mbeki’s elections campaigns for two consecutive elections were not as costly, yet they were progressively successful. They were brilliant because he was such a clean, intelligent and iconic figure in his own right. He could not be benchmarked. He ought to be part of the team to grant first hand experience. Mbalula is right.

    Assuming that Mbeki did pull a conspiracy against Zuma its clear to me to understand why. He was cleaning up after his mess. He knew that this man is incompetent, illiterate, cannot keep it in his pants and no rand will go pass him without getting some. Zuma is desperate for wealth accumulation as much as he is for taking it to the bedroom. Mbeki owed it to the nation to tidy up. Mbalula is correct. Let’s admit, this one time, Mbeki failed dismally. He’s even living the regret.

    Fikile Mbalula. The fresh Xhosa initiate. This is the kind of politician you do not wish to have in an organisation such as the ANC. Such arrogance is the one that resulted to the subsequent fall of the PAC. Yes. It is the kind of arrogance that will effectively enhance the splinter into a greater form. It is such a misdirected energy. He’s always shown hate for the old man. One can easily say he admires him. There could be such a thin line, you know. If anything should be said about his stance, it should be that he is starting to show a sense of undermining to the current executive leadership and the NEC as a whole, of the ruling party. He single-handedly spoke of a senior cadre as such a greatest loser of the 20th century. No harm done to the one who will “always be my president”. He’s quiet diplomacy works best at this stage. It worked in Zimbabwe, proves to be such a difficult opponent to the tripartite alliance. I wish to suggest that they find HOPE or COPE with it.

    Kind regards,

    Sonwabo Ngqontsha
    Self proclaimed political analist

  2. Mtsweni Sifiso

    Its quiet embarrassing that some of you should stoop to this level of debate and analysis and claim to be “political analysts. I was disgusted when i first saw this gutter [response], but then it hit me! some people have really lost all sense of knowledge based on facts and have entirely resorted to psuedo analytic mis-feelings.

    Not only does the author fail to grasp the content of the letter written by comrade Mbalula, he immediately launches a rocket in defence of his handlers. He seeks to, unsuccesfully, try and convince us that leading a constitutional democracy like South Africa, people should sip expensive whiskeys and plan downfalls of percieved “illeterates”. He is quiet forgetful unfortunately that the ANC, to which Mbeki has pledged allegiance to for decades, elects its leadership. This means that whether one is “literate” or “illeterate” bears no relationship to a democratic election into office. Further, when one is elected, there is a mandate upon which results are to be judged against. Further, the party which elects such an individual or collective, is to ensure that from time to time it puts in place corrective checks and balances so as to ensure that people dont abuse the priviledge afforded to them by the masses of our people. Never in recent history was Mbeki and his cronies mandated to deal with “someone who cant put his pants up”, nor was Mbeki mandated to divide the ANC to what it has become today.

    Mbalula’s letter draws us to the wise words uttered by Mandela when handing over the baton to the incoming President. In these words, Isithalandwe Seaparankwe (the highest honour of the ANC), Mandela warns of how too much power can be devastating to the organisation when given to one person. This he captures by saying “Thabo dont surround yourself with yes men and yes women, for that will be a deviate from the principles of open debate in the ANC” he further warns Thabo that “Take care of this organisation, defend its unity..” Now when one looks at the situation that unfolded in Polokwane, our learned self proclaimed analyst would agree with me that such does not represent what Utata referred to as “defend its unity”.

    Therefore, before we rush into our cheerleading skirts and sing praises of discredited individuals, it is advisable to check our facts first before grasping newspaper edited letters and sending unpallatable emails like these to those of us who care to dig deep into issues before we make our opinions known.

    It is also advisable to get knowledge on the ABC of politics and understand the nature and character of the National Democratic Struggle, from that we can make informed opinions based on the undestandings of the true ideals of the ANC and its allance partners.

    One of my comrades who i have served with in SASCO Cde Kgotso Letlhapa would capture this by saying “Dont wear glasses to look nice but rather to see clearer”

    Regards

    Tso

  3. Nakani Melumza

    Revolutionary Greetings

    I think it is high time for all Cdres to defend the democratic revolution that our people and leaders has spell their blood and secrifice with their lives in oder for us to be free from economic bandages and to access education as we have currently.It is suprissingly for me to see e-mail that intent to judge ANC leadership about their level of literacy.Even now we are forced in our institutions to see the world the way white poeple sees it.Iam very pleased about the leaders who fought for our country even though they did not access formal education as we did but they have seen where the future of this country was giong when it was in the hands of the white minority.The person who sent that e-mail is political benkrupt he needs to be inducted strictly with sons of De Klerk not forgeting shekotas.

    Comrades we must not forget that the ANC was formed to unite the people of Africa and anyone who intend to divide the ANC is trying to divide the Africa as a whole.We can not be quite about people who are trying to divide the ANC within the ANC. We are calling the alliance to intervene as it shows its loyalty particularly the SACP that the ANC should govern.The contradictions within the ANC had been there for almost 95 yrs.Comrades must not be emotional about what is happening at the moment.I love Thabo Mbeki as i had trust on him when he was elected at Mafekeng as party president.In the ANC or Sasco you are elected as the leader to serve the interest of the organisation not yours and that should have been the focus of Thabo Mbeki.Once Solomon Mahlangus last words said “My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight.”

    Regards
    Nqonqo

  4. I have been observing everything that has been happening in South Africa and it makes me wonder what direction are we taking. What happened to unity,nationalism and patriotism, we seem to be a natoin that has lost it’s vision and direction,we are now at cross roads and have just reached a turning point, what has happened has happened I am not sure what the former president’s intentions were, what would be the use of him getting a third term as president of the ANC while he could not be president of the state. Unfortunately for him J Zet was voted as president of ANC by the people and is for the people. Now as we all know the majority of South Africa is ANC it means they wanted Gezeihlekisa as president. We took him by vote to Luthuli, the same way we secured his Presidency yesterday as president of the Republic and I know that he is going to be a president with a difference. I adimire and respect com Mback’s letter bcoz it shows guts and I am sure that the Icons would be very proud of him afterall it is what they fought for, freedom of expression isn’t it.

  5. Thanks , great blog . Good Infomation .

    Cheers Bill

  6. Khanya Sigcawu

    How I wish Mbalula could write another open letter. this time to JG Zuma himself and address the current state of affairs under Zuma’s leadership. Or, maybe because he is part of Zuma’s administration, he will be blinded to see him for what he is-just like he did with Mbeki.

    Anyway, I won’t blame you mninawa if you don’t. I understand you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds.

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