Mbeki 'excellent leader', despite recall

2012-11-09 21:02

Johannesburg - Former president Thabo Mbeki remains an excellent leader regardless of the circumstances under which he left office, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"He accepted the decision of the ANC NEC. Like a true statesman, he put the country first above personal considerations," Zuma said at the party's centenary lecture honouring Mbeki.

"He stepped aside in a dignified manner, allowing a smooth transition to take place in government to the presidency of comrade Kgalema Motlanthe."

Mbeki did not attend the lecture. His spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga said he was busy with the Sudans issue.

Mbeki succeeded Nelson Mandela as president of the country in June 1999.

After almost two terms in office Mbeki tendered his resignation in 2008, following the ANC's decision to recall him. This was after he was defeated by Zuma at the party's elective conference in Polokwane.

Zuma was addressing a large crowd at the Sauer Park Stadium in Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape.

This was part of the ANC's centenary celebrations. Each month is dedicated to a former president of the party.

Zuma quoted Mbeki from the time he was recalled: "I have been a loyal member of the African National Congress for 52 years. I remain a member of the ANC and therefore respect its decisions.

"It is for this reason that I have taken the decision to resign as president of the Republic, following the decision of the national executive committee of the ANC."

Zuma said Mbeki distinguished himself in the ANC as a cadre and as a leader.

"Today we reflect on the legacy of our 11th ANC president. A committed cadre, comrade, leader and son of the ANC," Zuma said.

"For me personally he was a friend and a brother for many years."

Zuma and Mbeki had served on many structures of the ANC together.

Mbeki had played a critical role in the life of the African National Congress, and contributed immensely from the period of 1990 during negotiations for transformation, he said.

"President Mbeki became one of the leading cadres of the movement that epitomised the ANC's beliefs."

Before he started his address Zuma led the crowd in singing "somlandela uMbeki yonke indawo" [we shall follow Mbeki everywhere].

Many in the marquee at the stadium danced and showed two fingers, signifying a second term for Zuma.

The ANC holds its elective conference in Mangaung next month.

  • - 2012-11-09 21:12

    JZ... you comment on qualities you DO NOT HAVE!

  • Ntshobs - 2012-11-09 21:12

    Unfortunately the same can't b said about u JZ. NXA!

  • Shepzen - 2012-11-09 21:14

    I doubt if Montlante will say the same about zuma..

  • Yandisa Rwaai - 2012-11-09 21:32

    Mbeki is the most successful President to date just sad he fell in the Kenneth Kaundes and the Robert Mogabes of this world not wanting to pass on the batten,,, but then again he was afraid of whats happening presently...

  • Yandisa Rwaai - 2012-11-09 21:32

    and all these where great leaders,,,

  • annelise.vanderschyff - 2012-11-09 21:34

    News 24 why don't you post my comments?????

  • moses.govender.7 - 2012-11-09 21:35

    Well done Mbeki on not attending and demeaning yourself to listen to the same idiots that put the dagger in your back now praise you. You were wronged terribly but in a great display of karma this bumbling, corrupt JZ administration has greatly enhanced your legacy!

  • john.s.stalwart - 2012-11-09 21:38

    Mbeki the fine gentleman,he proved his worth and the praises sang to him are due to him,unluckily Zuma got his senses back and silenced those who turned him agains Mbeki,i saw humility in the guy wen he said,'' me personally he[Mbeki] was a brother and a friend for a long time'',that was remarkable,obviously Zuma doesn't hold grudges if the lecture he delivered came from his heart,for that I respect him.

      Mbavhalelo - 2012-11-09 22:31

      I agree with u John

      alfred.vumisa - 2012-11-10 15:11

      i agree wth u bro he showd us hw de leader should act.

  • caine.abel.75 - 2012-11-09 22:01

    Trying to save face by praising Mbeki after his throat was cut

  • tyroymike3 - 2012-11-09 22:13

    Aids denialist - thousands of African people in an early grave - arms deal - paranoid policies. Anyone ? someone ? aaaahhhh , yes !!! great fellow - we loved you - not !!

      ernest.lwandle - 2012-11-09 22:25

      you must be insane or racist to the core give us proof troll

      thato.matsio - 2012-11-10 22:46

      What makes u say he was a aids denialist?

  • Mbavhalelo - 2012-11-09 22:28

    @Tony u are a bitter racist soul, everyone uncluding u knw dat Mbeki was an excellent president

  • mzwandile.dlamanzi - 2012-11-09 22:33

    This might be the worst moment of your presidency JZ. You should have delegated this one to galima maybe.

  • tolo.maano - 2012-11-09 22:41

    What's the meaning of ur song...its was malema b4 then u zuma ...let me guess next week u going to say...we want THABO MBeKI back he was best president than me...any way following him alone I m not going any whr..I dnt knw whr he is going mos !!!!!!

  • michael.smit.73997 - 2012-11-09 23:10

    Zuma STFU, all you talk is rubbish with ur excrement still voting for you. my brick wall has more brain power than you. You dont give a **** about the poor just like any other african president. it seems like with african leaders, greed and power are hard wired into them as they start out with good ideas, take over the economy and then just waste waste waste steal steal steal blame the whites blame the whites blame the hites

      michael.smit.73997 - 2012-11-09 23:11

      *Greed and the need for power (correction)

  • kitty2wp - 2012-11-09 23:40

    who is KGALEMA MOTLANTHE? is he the guy that looks like a billy goat?

  • isaacntam - 2012-11-10 00:33

    It always like that yesterday you recall him after failing you start to raise him up that is a snake game to approch after spoil you the former Presint veteran of the ANC Mbeki was working his problem he was so quiet does not show but wena eisshh

  • Bluekittybox - 2012-11-10 01:09

    Well can he honour Mbeki by re-instating him and saving South Africa from all this heartache he has caused us? *a disgusted citizen*

  • mahloborakgoale - 2012-11-10 01:18

    What is Zuma hoping to achieve by making these comments? He is still the reason why Thabo Mbheki was recalled in the first place. Now that he has won the award, suddenly it's ok to sing his praise? Zuma is a hypocrite!

  • rebaone.keameditse - 2012-11-10 01:57

    what is wrong about citizens of SA, whenever they commend about JZ is all about Hate and insulting, you will never hear them saying something with weight or convincing, I ask myself is that the reflection of our IQ or we are incapable of constructive Criticism. Just as we like to compare JZ to Obama, let us compare ourself to Americans.

      Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-10 08:46

      Normally a spade is a spade! So if jz is excrement then is excrement!

      thato.matsio - 2012-11-10 22:52

      especially the white community. I am not a fan of zuma. But i have never seen something positive posted by the white community especially when it comes to black people achievement. They trash everything that has to do with government, anc and black people. I feel sorry for our white brothers and sisters

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-11-10 07:21

    "He stepped aside in a dignified manner" Time Mr Zuma did the same!!!!!!!

  • gieljam.gomtor - 2012-11-10 08:21

    This is a ploy to divert attention on him as a poor leader for ALL citizens not just for his kind and the party . All they did by removing Mbeki who was just as incompetent was to make the country even poorer and laughable.

  • carl.h.witte - 2012-11-10 09:02

    How many deaths resulting from aids was he responsible for?

  • flysouth - 2012-11-10 09:46

    Mbeki must be trembling with rage at these hypocritical words from his nemesis! Two hollow vessels banging against each other - signifying exactly nothing.

  • rory.n.price - 2012-11-10 10:02

    Coconut has more inside it than Zooma has brains

  • Riaan Venter - 2012-11-10 10:04

    Zuma knows he's day's are numbred

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-11-10 10:47

    What is he kissing backsides for?. Endorsement?.

  • fhatu.mugwabana - 2012-11-10 12:20

    Mbeki will remain the excellent leader, well prepared speech Mr. President....

  • nadia.deklerk.7 - 2012-11-10 15:10

    Be sure to follow him Zuma, may he be an inspiration to you ;)

  • Olembe - 2012-11-10 15:57


  • thato.matsio - 2012-11-10 22:55

    An obvious and strategic move by zuma. Zuma knows that Mbeki still commands a lot of respect in the anc.

  • wessel.jordaan.3 - 2012-11-11 08:53


  • LizaBiassoniHall - 2012-11-14 13:36

    And despite not being there... Glad he took a stand!

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