Mrs Mbeki says ANC split is a “first class idea”

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Dethroned South African president Thabo Mbeki’s mother has okayed the speculated break away ANC saying its “first-class idea” and she would join it.

Epainette, the 92-year-old struggle veteran her self she the African National Congress’s biggest mistake has been to partner with the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

“The party is not the ANC we used to know where people like Oliver Tambo and many other struggle heroes fought. I really do not know what they would say now,” she is widely quoted today.

She has served the ANC for 60 years.

Asked to comment on the possibility of former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota starting a breakaway party, she replied: “It is a first-class idea”.

“The sooner Lekota tells us about his plans, the better, so that people can start to make their own decisions on this matter,” said Mrs Mbeki.

She also hinted joining a new party.

Mrs Mbeki said she listened to Lekota on radio on Wednesday when he said the new ANC leaders were promoting tribalism in the party.

“I will not say that they are promoting tribalism, but what I see are the low levels of political development,” said Mrs Mbeki,

She said the formation of the tripartite alliance between the ANC, SACP and Cosatu was a mistake.

“This brings other influences to the party and it is clear that it [the ANC] is no longer independent.”

Meanwhile, in a marked contrast to the olive branch extended by the ANC, alliance partners – the SACP and Cosatu – on Wednesday warned Lekota that he and his fellow “traitors” were headed straight for the “political wilderness”.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi slammed Lekota’s announcement on Wednesday of a national convention that could result in a new party as “disastrous” and “regrettably empty rhetoric” that was a “pure publicity stunt”.

“The road they have chosen can only go to an endless winter in the wilderness. It appears they have taken a decision and nothing the ANC can do or say will make them change their minds. They appear to be giving the ANC an ultimatum and asking the party to meet certain conditions so that they may not proceed with what they have already decided,” said Vavi.

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