ANC says sorry to Boesak

2007-03-09 11:27

Johannesburg - The African National Congress has apologised to cleric Allan Boesak for dropping him as a speaker at the recent Cape Town memorial service for Adelaide Tambo.

SABC news reported on Thursday that Boesak welcomed the apology by ANC chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota and Education Minister Naledi Pandor.

This came after the two ANC heavyweights met Boesak, moderator of the Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa, in Belhar in the Western Cape earlier in the day.

Last month, Boesak was invited by the Anglican church to speak at a memorial service for former ANC president Oliver Tambo's wife Adelaide in Cape Town.

The invitation was withdrawn at the last minute, reportedly at the insistence of figures within the ANC.

ANC 'sufficiently embarrassed'

Lekota said the issue with Boesak had been resolved and that individuals responsible for attacks on Boesak and his church had been dealt with.

No disciplinary action would be taken against these individuals as the ANC had been sufficiently embarrassed by the incident, Lekota said.

Boesak said he was happy the matter had been resolved, and expressed the hope that his other issues with the ANC could also be dealt with.

He said the latest turn of events did not pave the way for his to re-enter politics.

Thursday's meeting focused on the question whether the apartheid-style practice of government feeling it could prescribe to the church was still alive.

"These were the issues that have been very frankly and very openly discussed today (Thursday) and the church is very satisfied with the outcome," Boesak said.

"The ANC wanted us to understand number one; that the incident that happened was not something that had been instigated by the ANC as a whole or as an organisation."

Boesak added: "They assured us that the people that acted on their own behalf, not on behalf of the ANC, they have no mandate from the national body, and this was not at all in line with ANC policy."