Mbeki entitled to his view - Mbete

2012-10-23 19:08
Former President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla

Former President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla

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Johannesburg - Former president Thabo Mbeki is entitled to speak out against the ANC, party chair Baleka Mbete said on Tuesday.

"He's contributing to the debate, he's expressing a view," she told reporters in Johannesburg.

Last week, Mbeki said the African National Congress's current leadership was losing its ability to provide direction to South Africa.

"I... [am] deeply troubled by a feeling of great unease that our beloved motherland is losing its sense of direction, and that we are allowing ourselves to progress towards a costly disaster," he said.

He was delivering the Oliver Tambo memorial lecture at the University of Fort Hare, in the Eastern Cape.

Mbete declined to elaborate, and said: "It's nothing new".

She also would not be drawn on a report in The Star newspaper on Monday that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula had denied speaking out against President Jacob Zuma.

"People have made comments... I wasn't there when any of them were making those comments.

"Questions of so-called embarrassing comments in the public domain are part of politics," she said.

The Star reported that Mbalula said: "I have no time for Zuma. He has caused his own problems. He marries every week."

Mbalula said the report was a fabrication aimed at causing sensation.

She said the ANC would host the Third ANC International Solidarity Conference from Thursday to Sunday in Tshwane. The theme for the event is "United for a Progressive, Better World".

The ANC said the conference "is aimed at continuing to unite the like-minded people of the world for peace, solidarity and social transformation to create a world free of human rights abuses and creation of sustainable environments".

It would also celebrate former ANC president OR Tambo.

Self-determination

Representatives from Palestine, Sudan and South Sudan, Western Sahara and Cuba would make presentations.

Delegates would, among others things, examine the "struggle for the right to self-determination".

They would discuss the challenges facing Africa and reflect on Southern African liberation movements, and the meaning of the Arab uprising for Africa.

About 1 000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend.

The first international solidarity conference was held in December 1987 in Arusha, Tanzania. Representatives from more than 60 countries considered the South African struggle against the apartheid regime.

The second conference took place in Johannesburg in February 1993, when around 900 delegates from about 70 countries discussed the contribution of international solidarity to the new South Africa.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  thabo mbeki  |  baleka mbete  |  fikile mbalula  |  johannesburg  |  politics
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