Former president Thabo Mbeki has criticised tribalism and its role in politics, saying it perpetuates corruption. Mbeki said in a lecture at the University of SA yesterday that tribalism was a tool used by politicians to manipulate some and reward others, The Star reported. He said the problem was rampant in the government of the day. “When a minister comes from a certain region, so will the officials in that department,” he was quoted as saying. Mbeki called it a “homeboy” phenomenon and said it was done deliberately. “They conspire in one language, and this is one of the challenges we need to address.” He said that when the ANC was formed 102 years ago, part of its mandate was to “bury the demon of tribalism”. “But 102 years later, tribalism is raising its head.” President Jacob Zuma was criticised by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa in November for having a “laager mentality”. He said Zuma had appointed Cabinet members mainly from his home province of KwaZulu-Natal. At the time, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza denied Holomisa’s claims, and said all the provinces were represented in the Cabinet.