Mbeki/Ramaphosa showdown over Phala Phala to take place on Tuesday

Former president Thabo Mbeki is set to meet the ANC’s top officials today to discuss his letter criticising the party’s stance on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm scandal. 

thabo Mbeki Ramaphosa
Former president Thabo Mbeki is set to meet the ANC’s top officials today to discuss his letter criticising the party’s stance on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm scandal. (Presidency/Twitter)

ANC insiders have said the meeting will take place at 6pm at the party’s headquarters, Luthuli House, with all top seven leaders expected to attend. 

This will be the first time that Mbeki has been granted an audience with the ANC officials on the matter, having asked on numerous occasions for a meeting. 

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu said the ANC could not comment on the matter, given its sensitivity. “We are going to be communicating with the media once the meeting has taken place as and when it has taken place.” 

This comes after Mbeki wrote to Deputy President Paul Mashatile slamming the ANC for protecting Ramaphosa in parliament “at all costs”, and for shooting down an inquiry into claims the party benefited from corruption at Eskom.

Mbeki, who was recalled by the party in 2008, has equated the protection of Ramaphosa with the party’s defence of former president Jacob Zuma over the Nkandla scandal.

Mbeki sent a scathing 17-page letter to the ANC’s top seven leaders last week, which was leaked to the media, and which the party says it will discuss with the former head of state.

Mbeki said that many South Africans suspected corruption in both matters and that history had shown the ANC had taken “wrong positions” in defending Zuma, which had cost the party trust and votes among the electorate.

“It is equally without doubt that any wrong position we take with regard to the Phala Phala matter will also, in equal measure or more, impact negatively on the standing of the ANC with many among the masses of our people,” Mbeki said in the letter.

He said the ANC should not have blocked the formation of a multi-party committee [MPC] to investigate the Phala Phala matter in parliament and ascertain whether Ramaphosa should be impeached.

“I would presume that, as ANC members, we would assume that our president would not do and has not done anything impeachable. 

“The puzzle is, why then did we stop an MPC being formed? Are we saying that we suspect or know that he has done something impeachable and therefore decided that we must protect our president at all costs by ensuring that no MPC is formed?” Mbeki asked.

This is not the first time Mbeki has raised his concerns over the ANC’s handling of the Phala Phala matter. 

Shortly after the death of former deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte in July last year, Mbeki met Mashatile, then the ANC’s treasurer general, and then deputy president David Mabuza on separate occasions, urging the party leaders to get ahead of the Phala Phala scandal facing the party’s president.

Entrepreneur Hub SA understands that Mbeki had also called on Minister Gwede Mantashe and Ramaphosa urging them to do the same.

Get South Africa’s latest entrepreneurial or business success stories delivered right to your inbox — Sign up to Entrepreneur Hub SA’s newsletter today 

eBook: 50 South African Entrepreneurs Reveal HOW THEY MADE IT


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *