Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Nelson Mandela as president of Mzansi for nine years, was speaking to ANC delegates at a conference in Free State when he made the now-famous remark.
His claim is that the party wields significant power in government at both the national and provincial levels. Mbeki believes that if the ANC were to dissolve, the hole would be too large to fill.
“If the ANC collapsed today, ceased to exist, this country would become ungovernable simply because of the influence of the party. Three provincial governments are ANC, the national government is ANC. Therefore, this party owes it to the nation to sort its affairs out.”
The statement has become a big talking point in the last 24 hours – especially amongst politicians.
- Action SA leader Herman Mashaba slammed the former president for his ‘inflammatory’ words…
“Is Thabo Mbeki planning to destabilize and render the country ungovernable in the event of the collapse of the ANC? A prosperous South Africa and the ANC cannot coexist in one space. One has to die, and it cannot be South Africa – whether Thabo Mbeki likes it or not.”
- Meanwhile, Western Cape Minister David Maynier was on hand to tell Thabo Mbeki some home truths…
“It’s probably worth remembering that the ANC collapsed in the Western Cape already [with no adverse affects]. First it lost its power, and then it collapsed…”
- Shadow Trade Minister Dean Macpherson also chimed in…
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“Mbeki is wrong. South Africa’s success is directly linked to the ANC’s collapse. The sooner the better.”