Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to criticism from former president Thabo Mbeki regarding the party’s lack of renewal efforts.
During his closing speech at the party’s three-day national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Monday, Ramaphosa refrained from referencing Mbeki but emphasised that the ANC’s commitment to self-renewal is unwavering, EWN reported.
He said that the ANC’s mission to renew itself is irreversible, even though progress may be slow at times.
Ramaphosa defended the party’s renewal project, which was established in 2017 and reaffirmed at last year’s national conference, and stressed that it’s an ongoing process rather than a one-day event.
“There are times where we will take five steps forward and three back,” the report quoted him as saying.
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He added: “It is irrevocable and it is irreversible as well. Renewal should never be seen as a one-day event, it is a continuous process.”
Speaking at the memorial service for his friend and former Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad, hosted by the ANC on Thursday at the University of Johannesburg, Mbeki had seized the moment to appeal to the party to revive its past prestige.
He said his sadness over views expressed at a recent inter-faith convention where many felt the ANC had betrayed the country during its three decades in power.
Mbeki revisited a crucial document from 2017, authored by Gwede Mantashe, warning about the pitfalls facing the party and its need for self-renewal.
“The fact of the matter is that we did not renew the ANC following the party conference resolution of 2017. That resolution was repeated by the conference of 2022. We are now in October and nothing has happened to renew the ANC,” he said.
Former President Thabo Mbeki on “receding power of the State” and the disconnect between today’s leaders and society. Mbeki also says ANC renewal has failed. pic.twitter.com/tGruAa1zru
— Soyiso Maliti (@soyiso_maliti) October 12, 2023
He added: “They said the country was in crisis. That everywhere you go, it’s crisis. They spoke about a woman in the Eastern Cape who killed her three children and herself because they had no food.
“They were not inventing stories about the level of poverty, the high crime rate, the degree of suicide among youngsters, the absence of wellness in our society. This is a signal of something going very wrong.”
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu