Honour Kathrada by confronting ANC's challenges - Mbeki

2017-03-28 19:45
Ahmed Kathrada. (News24, File)

Ahmed Kathrada. (News24, File)

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Johannesburg - Former president Thabo Mbeki says he will honour the memory of struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada by confronting the challenges facing the country and the ANC.

Speaking to the media at the Thabo Mbeki Foundation offices, he said Kathrada was correct in confronting the ANC on its shortcomings.

He said he thought Kathrada was "correct" in wanting to achieve engagement with the ANC over the issue of the national consultative conference.

He said Kathrada, whom he referred to as "Kathy", would have been happy if this engagement would commence.

"Kathy was looking forward to that and I think it would be a real tribute to him if there is a continuation of that process," he said. 

Mbeki touched on Kathrada's dissatisfaction with the ANC, but said he was not surprised that he had unwavering loyalty to the liberation movement.

He said the 101 elders were formed to correct the wrongs of the ANC.

"It was home to them for many decades. What Kathy wanted to do was to correct those wrongs. It was not surprising that Kathy would stay in the ANC. It's a demonstration of his commitment to the struggle."

Read more tributes here

'Can't comment on speculation'

When asked how he felt about the speculation around Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's possible removal from his current position, Mbeki would not be drawn into the matter, saying simply that the country should wait and see what President Jacob Zuma had planned.

"I have not spoken to President Zuma about the minister of finance. I can't comment on speculation," he said.

Zuma rescinded the earlier permission he had granted Treasury for a roadshow trip to the UK and US, summoning Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas back home immediately on Monday. No reason was given for the decision.

Speculation has been rife since the news broke on Monday that it was linked to a possible Cabinet reshuffle.

Gordhan, who returned to South Africa on Tuesday morning, was spotted on the 6th floor of the ANC's headquarters, Luthuli House. It is understood he was meeting with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Gordhan left the building to attend court proceedings over his application to obtain a declaratory order from the courts preventing Treasury from intervening in the matter of Oakbay Investments versus four of the country's big banks.

This after they decided to stop doing business with the Gupta family.

Read more on:    thabo mbeki  |  ahmed kathrada

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