Mbeki’s absence not a snub – ANC

2012-11-08 12:21
Sabelo Ndlangisa
The ANC says it does not see former president Thabo Mbeki’s absence from President Jacob Zuma’s lecture tomorrow as a snub.

Mbeki will not attend the lecture Zuma will deliver in his honour in Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape.

The ruling party has dedicated the month of November to honouring Mbeki’s contribution as former ANC leader and president of the republic.

Each of the months of this year has been dedicated to a past party president, which will culminate in December, being Zuma’s legacy month.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the ANC did not view Mbeki’s unavailability as a snub as the former president had “prior commitments”.

Khoza said some Mbeki family members would attend the Zuma lecture, but would not say who they are.

City Press understands that Mbeki’s wife, Zanele, will also not attend the event.

Sowetan has reported that Mbeki will be in Brazil, but City Press has learnt that Mbeki will be in South Africa tomorrow.

With the exception of the ANC’s centenary celebrations, the former president has avoided attending ANC events since he lost power to Zuma in Polokwane in 2007.

Mbeki, who hardly comments on domestic politics, recently lamented what he sees as the country’s directionless drift. This was viewed as criticism of Zuma’s leadership.