/ 11 May 2011

ANC rebel: Oliver Tambo made me do it

Johannesburg, South Africa

Problems with the ANC’s candidate lists have seemingly reached the point where one member, who refuses to toe the party line, is claiming to be receiving advice from beyond the grave.

Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana has claimed that former ANC president Oliver Tambo spoke to him in a vision about candidate lists in the OR Tambo region, the party’s Eastern Cape spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyane said on Wednesday.

“To us, this ‘Tambo vision’ claim appears to be an act of desperation in search of political sympathy and attention. Once again, we call on these comrades to refrain from engaging in this fruitless exercise,” he said.

He said it was wrong for Nonkonyana to “worship on the altar of populism”.

Nonkonyana led a recent court bid to contest the lists. The Supreme Court of Appeal however dismissed with costs his attempt to appeal a ruling against them by the Mthatha High Court.

Qoboshiyane said Nonkonyana’s behaviour in seeking “continuing” legal representation over the lists went against Tambo’s behaviour and values.

“During his time as our leader, comrade Tambo never supported rebels, never supported people who brought the ANC into disrepute, especially people who manipulate lists from branches by putting names preferred by them,” he said.

Protests erupted across the country over ANC candidates which residents say were not the ones they had chosen, in line with the party’s new selection process, but had been forced on them.

President Jacob Zuma last month announced a team would be set up to probe how popular candidates were removed from the ANC’s candidate lists.

“We believe that the pronouncement by President Jacob Zuma … suffices and we call on all our comrades to respect that pronouncement,” Qoboshiyane said. — Sapa