Avatar photo

By Zanele Mbengo

Journalist


Mbeki takes aim at Zuma for ruining Sars

Thabo Mbeki challenges the ANC's leadership evolution, questions Zuma's legacy, and critiques uMkhonto weSizwe's political role.


Former president Thabo Mbeki is well within his rights to raise concerns about the ANC, especially on the kind of public representatives the party deploys, according to political analyst Trevor Hlungwani.

“ANC leaders, past and present, would always weigh in on the state of affairs in the party. The issue around the quality of leaders within the ANC remains a concern for many, especially party veterans,” he said.

This came after Mbeki said his party needed to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Mbeki took a swipe at Zuma

Speaking during an engagement with students at Unisa in Pretoria, Mbeki took a swipe at his successor Jacob Zuma by pulling a page from the Zondo commission report, which placed Zuma at the centre of the destruction of state-owned enterprises.

ALSO READ: Mbeki on Zuma: ‘Either Zondo report is wrong, or we’re dealing with entirely wrong person’

“One extraordinary conclusion in the Zondo commission report on the SA Revenue Services matter says one of the people who played a leading role in the effort to destroy Sars was the president of the Republic of South Africa.

“Who indeed is this president (Zuma)? Because there is no way you’re going to be able to square the circle that the president of the RSA acts to destroy the revenue services?” Mbeki said.

This followed the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party’s announcement of Zuma as its presidential candidate for the upcoming election.

Mbeki said leaders of the MK party tried to destroy Sars.

ALSO READ: ANC candidates list: Mbeki did not endorse wrongdoing, says Mbalula

“Take the MK party, you cannot say I remain a member of the ANC but you support a party that is going to campaign in order to defeat the ANC. That does not make sense,” he said, in reference to Zuma.

He said “either the Zondo commission is entirely wrong or we are dealing with a person who is entirely wrong”.

Evidence at Zondo commission

Professor Dirk Kotzé, a political science expert at Unisa, concurred with Mbeki, noting the evidence presented at the Zondo commission.

“Mbeki distinguished between three periods, from 1994 until 2007. Then the period thereafter, which was the Zuma period until 2022.

ALSO READ: ‘White people didn’t steal the land… black people must accept defeat’ – Moeletsi Mbeki

“And now since then the period that we would regard as the period of growth, development and democratisation was the first period,” Kotzé said.

“The second period was exactly the opposite and that was the time of president Zuma. That was the time of primarily the state capture as it is described by the Zondo commission.”

Kotzé noted Mbeki criticised Zuma openly about his support of MK party. “Mbeki blamed the time of Zuma for the demise of the ANC,” he said.

“Although Mbeki didn’t say directly that during his time the ANC was actually growing in terms of its support and reached its highest level of support.”

ALSO READ: Thabo Mbeki can’t save the ANC now