The former president feels that the ANC should not have abandoned its principle of non-racialism in its adoption of the policy of land expropriation.
This is according to a 30-page document issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, titled What Then About Land Expropriation Without Compensation? It can be read in its entirety here.
The Daily Maverick confirmed the document’s authenticity and said it was similar to Mbeki’s own writing “in both style and tone.” The paper, however, appears to have been meant for internal discussion rather than publication.
The document expressed the view that the current direction the ANCs land policy has gone in was a rejection of the Freedom Charter’s assertion: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it: black and white”.
The paper goes on to sarcastically suggest that this slogan should be changed to: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, except as this relates to land.”
According to the paper, the ANC embraced non-racialism at the time of the drafting of the Freedom Charter in response to a “narrow, racialistic, and chauvinistic nationalism,” implying that their decision to abandon non-racialism shows them to now be embracing the same form of nationalism.
The document appears to lay the blame for this shift in ANC policy at the feet of former president Jacob Zuma.
It brings up how Zuma referred to the ANC as a “black party” at an address in 2017, which, the document says, is “a fundamental redefinition of both what the ANC is and its historic mission”.
The document also defends Mosiuoa Lekota, who broke away from the ANC to form Cope in 2008. Recently, Lekota has been slammed by some within the ANC for lobbying against land expropriation without compensation and even announcing a partnership with Afrikaans lobby group AfriForum to try and stop proposed changes to section 25 of the SA constitution.
According to the paper Lekota “asked – given that the ANC had resolved to expropriate land and transfer it to those the ANC described as ‘our people’ – who in this equation were not ‘our people’ in terms of long-established ANC policy?”
“The truth is that the ANC leadership has not answered this very legitimate question, except through heckling Lekota to silence him,” the document says.
The former president is not the first Mbeki to voice reservations surround land expropriation.
Political economist Moeletsi Mbeki, who is Thabo’s younger brother, has accused the ANC of attacking SA’s white population through its land policy.
Speaking at the Nampo Agricultural Trade Show in May, Mbeki said: “The ANC is using the land issue as a camouflage to attack the white population. It is supported and reinforced by the famous black racist, Mr Malema, who is very eloquent. He is actually now leading the ANC’s election campaign.”
Mbeki continued: “The ANC is totally mistaken. Black voters are very economically literate. They’re not interested in race issues. The reason they’re abandoning the ANC is precisely because its economic policies have failed.”