Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has justified comments he made in 2017 in which he was quoted as saying the ANC needed to lose the elections in order for the party to self-reflect. In the same breath, the former president also reiterated his allegiance to the party and that he has no doubt that the ANC would win the upcoming elections.
Motlanthe was addressing the media and the general public who came to the ANC pavilion at the Rand Easter Show on Friday to witness him sign a pledge to vote for the ANC come the May 8 elections.
“During an interview with the BBC I did say that the ANC should lose the elections in order for the penny to drop but this was taken out of context. If you don’t give context then it’s confusing. That is why even today I am still asked questions about that interview as though I was actually proposing a theory that the ANC must lose elections in order for it to wake up, but that is not what I was saying.”
“If you leave out the context you can then easily take the comments in a manner which leave it subject to a multitude of interpretations, whereas the comments were intended as a plea that the ANC should seize the moment leading up to its elective conference to fix the party’s weaknesses and do right, failing which we might have had to lose the elections to force us to introspect,” said Motlanthe.
The former president added that “post the elective conference a number of steps had been taken by the ANC that indicate that the party is on the right track”.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who was accompanying the former president to the pavilion, added that the only glitch so far as the party’s image stood, leading up to the hotly contested elections, was the inclusion of “controversial” individuals into the party’s list of those who will represent the party in the National Assembly and provincial legislature.
However, he urged potential voters to place their faith in the party’s integrity committee, saying it had vetted all the names and those in the final list were deemed worthy to be on it.
Motlanthe on the other hand also went on to declare his unwavering confidence in the fact that the ruling party would definitely win the upcoming elections and clarified that he had never said he would not vote for the party and had remained active in the ANC’s structures.
“After the elections you will see an ANC you have never seen before, an ANC that will be in direct contact with its communities.”
“Will I also say to the people vote for the ANC? I do say so and I do stand by that,” said Motlanthe.
This was the second high-profile endorsement of the party by one of their own who had previously expressed discontentment over the way the ruling party was conducting itself under former president Jacob Zuma.
On Monday, former president Thabo Mbeki also gave his stamp of approval to the ANC and the current direction the party was taking. He was also invited by the Gauteng ANC to canvass support at the ANC pavilion at the Rand Easter Show.