News24

Chikane not sorry for 'coup' comment

2012-03-19 11:35

Pietermaritzburg - Former director-general in the presidency, Frank Chikane, will not say sorry to the ANC, “because there is nothing to apologise about”.

Chikane was speaking to The Witness after a weekend call by KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize for him to apologise for insinuating that the removal of Thabo Mbeki as the country’s president in 2008 was tantamount to a coup d’ état.

Chikane is the author of Eight Days in September: The Removal of Thabo Mbeki, a book that has caused consternation within some quarters in the ANC.

Asked for his reaction to Mkhize’s call, Chikane said there was no need to apologise because nowhere in the book did he say Mbeki’s removal was a coup.

Pressure to resign

In his book, Chikane writes about how Mbeki was put under pressure to resign on a particular day, saying the ANC set an “unreasonable deadline”.

“The party may have the right to recall its member from government, but cannot determine when the president should submit a letter of resignation.

“I felt that ba leka president joale [they were testing the president’s patience to the limit] and that ba batla ho ribitella bohloko bo a leng ho bona [they were poking their fingers into a gaping wound].

“Once they started dictating when the letter should be delivered, we began to slide into sinking sand, as this would change the status of the recall of the president to that of a coup d’état … this bordered on forcing the president to resign, as if at gunpoint.”

Chikane told The Witness that prior to writing the book in November 2010, he met ANC president Jacob Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and secretary general Gwede Mantashe at Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters.

They had no problem with his intention to write the book. He also sent them copies of the book and they have had no objection to its content thus far.

“I was writing the story about president Mbeki’s removal as the person who had to manage that process after the ANC had made that decision. I wrote what I observed and if anyone has a different view, he/she must write that. If the ANC had the problem with what I wrote, they should come to me. I am a member of the organisation.”

Official Secrets Act


Chikane said he ensured that the Official Secrets Act was not breached and that there was a chapter in the book that explained that. “I was very careful on how I wrote as I knew this was a sensitive issue,” he said.

Addressing the ANC’s eThekwini conference in Durban on Saturday, Mkhize said some of the book’s content was “inaccurate and one-sided”.

“I have been very disappointed by the book as it creates a one-sided view of what actually transpired. So many other things are missed out. That creates an impression someone was sitting there and decided to connive to do something that is unconstitutional.

“I think characterising the recall of President Mbeki as a coup d’ état is outrageous and uncalled for, and Chikane owes the ANC an apology,” Mkhize said.

Mkhize said the book portrayed the ANC as a monster, which it was not. He emphasised that the decision to remove Mbeki was taken by the highest decision making body of the ANC, the national executive committee (NEC) “and it was difficult and painful”.
 

Comments
  • Andre - 2012-03-19 11:55

    Problem is, Mbeki had already served 2 terms and the Constitution had to be changed to allowed him another term. We don't need dictators in SA. Mbeki deserved everything he got. He was absent and out of touch with SAfricans and only he thinks he is very intellectual. Chikane is also not a man of integrity either....

      Eduard - 2012-03-19 12:32

      This is who Zuma wants around him...grey people

      siviwe.viddo.ngcobondwana - 2012-03-19 12:32

      Point of correction Andre,Mbeki never wanted to change the constitution of the Republic.Mbeki never wanted a third term as a president of the country,rather he accepted the nominaton to contest the presidency of the ANC,which unfortunately does not have term limits.Get you facts right Sir,before you can comment on such issues.

      Poloko - 2012-03-19 12:38

      Its a pity because you lack understanding of the subject matter. In my understanding, the ANC policy allows one to stand for three terms as an ANC president not the state president. Former president had a right to stand for another term as an ANC president. I am not sure what you are refering to when you say the constitution had to be changed. Stick to facts not hatred and anger!

      Moraka - 2012-03-19 12:57

      You are wrong Andre. Mbeki only ran for the presidency of the ANC. every one was aware including Mbeki that he could not serve a third term as the country's president as that would have been unconstitutional but there is nothing in the ANC constitution that forbids the party's president from running for a third term.

      Maredi - 2012-03-19 13:01

      The fact of the matter is Mbeki's removal was a coup. Whether you respect or like Frank Chikane or not is another debate and frankly (excuse the punt),I think you are wrong about him. He is one of the most honest people you can ever come across.

      Anthony - 2012-03-19 15:20

      i saw a TV interview with Chikane a few days ago; WHAT an arogant man !!!!!!!!!

      Christian - 2012-03-19 15:51

      In addition to what u r being informed about, his 2nd term was not finished!

      Barker - 2012-03-19 16:33

      Troll Alert....writing about something he/she knows nothing about.

  • justinasher - 2012-03-19 12:15

    This man is an idiot. I'd like to bet that Zuma hasn't even read the book. Probably passed it on to one of his subordinates to read.

  • Nigel - 2012-03-19 12:27

    It was a soft coup, basically a few thousand impatient & intolerant ANC members, i.e. Cosatu & the ANCYL hijacked the process & had Mbeki ousted, the irony is the same thing is probably going to happen again in Mangaung, these idiots will keep replacing the president thinking that the problems will suddenly be fixed, its not about 1 man, its about an entire govt, you need a plan, skills, integrity & much hard work, just replacing people with ones that have idiotic knee jerk fixes will not solve anything.

      david.lebethe - 2012-03-19 13:20

      @Nigel. Coup is a coup, my man. The way it is carried out is neither here or there. Despite all the negative reports that emanated from liberal press, Mbeki proved to be the best president the country has ever had sofar. His undoing was to call a bluff a bluff and when his predecessor was, on the other hand, too cosy to whites.

  • guy.goes1 - 2012-03-19 13:22

    The good reverent is like many religious [dominee] political leaders from before, entirely confused about reality,which he sees through his own rose tinted glasses. We talking about that little arrogant man mbeki who insisted on being the aids , health, arms , corruption, denialist, writing long winded prose that no one was even remotely interested in. He had soo much oppertunity to do good for our country but squandered it . please now a book about him, ask the thousands who died of aids unneccesary what they think.

      Rodney - 2012-03-19 13:40

      How you going to do that?....Hold a seance?

  • Piet - 2012-03-19 13:39

    And now they are aiming for a totalitarian country under ANC rule!

  • Marthinus - 2012-03-19 13:44

    Well you sent Zuma, Mothlante and Mantashe a book ,but did you send them an idiots guide to reading? Its simple, someone approaches a leader and tells them step down or else? Sounds like a coup to me?Well done Chikane call it like it is!

  • Piet - 2012-03-19 13:47

    Civil war looms! The ANC will not accept if the DA rules this country oneday.

      Christian - 2012-03-19 15:53

      Why not? If voted by the people, the ANC will be abliged to accept it. The NP never thought it will accept the ANC to rule SA.

  • June - 2012-03-19 15:08

    I wonder whether this is why Julius Malema is now saying Mbeki was "the best president". Is it possible that he was used to further the aims of Zuma and has now been dropped?

      Christian - 2012-03-19 15:54

      Possible. That's what politics is.

  • Andre - 2012-03-19 15:58

    Unfortunately, Frank Chikane is, by his own admission, not telling the absolute truth in his book because he says that he was very careful how "I wrote as I knew this was a sensitive issue.” The book is thus not reflecting the true picture of the events in order not to upset the bigwigs in the party. What a shame!

      david.lebethe - 2012-03-19 16:15

      @Andre. To be cagey doesn't necessarily mean one is a liar. It's just being too careful. It mean also mean the man has a lot to tell but doesn't want to absurd an applecart. In other words, it is how mild he could go. I understand, there is a second edition of Chikane Files and lets hope he won't be restraint this time around.

  • jeremy002 - 2012-03-19 17:14

    "Mkhize said the book portrayed the ANC as a monster, which it was not." Well I am very much afraid that this is not the impression that the ANC gives out. Any thing with two heads and two tongues is usually perceived as a monster. There is not a day that goes by in which conflicting and contradictory statements emanate from the ANC. Not to mention their support for the 'Kill the boer, kill the farmer song' after it was ruled out by the courts. There are a miriad of other examples. Camp quattro, rampant nepotism, corruption, theft, etc, etc. Sorry for you Mr Mkhize, the ANC looks very like a monster if you ask me.

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-19 17:46

    Why would he apologize, His book sales were up...mission accomplished.

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