In an opinion piece published in Business Day on Thursday, Mantashe spoke about a tendency of former leaders who “want to warm their tea by seeking celebrity through criticism of those in office and the policies they themselves once espoused”.
Without mentioning names, Mantashe waxed lyrical about former leaders who “report things to the media that they at no point raised with their erstwhile or even current parties”.
“Having suddenly ‘found their voice’ after happily playing status quo politics while in power, the “former insider” status of these former leaders lends them an extra appeal in the media,” Mantashe wrote.
The Mail & Guardian can think of a few leaders that Mantashe is giving the side eye, and made up a list of six former ANC leaders who criticised the incumbent leadership.
Who: Kgalema Motlanthe – former Deputy President
When: November 2015
What: Speaking to Business Day, Motlanthe said the internal democracy in the ANC was impaired. He went further saying the ANC was presently made up mostly of members and leaders devoid of the kind of political ability and consciousness required to maintain a united and nonracial society. He also touched on the tripartite alliance and said it was dead.
Who: Reverend Frank Chikane – former director general in the presidency
When: October 2015
What: In a document he sent to the ANC’s headquarter’s, Luthuli House, Chikane warned of the ANC’s demise. “For the ANC to remain a winning ANC, it must keep the tradition of being self-critical. Failure to do so will result in its demise and it losing confidence and its position as leader of society,” Chikane wrote.
Who: Ben Turok – former ANC MP
When: On Numerous occasions
What: Turok has been most vocal on how the ANC and government dealt with overspending on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. Turok held the view that Zuma should #PayBackTheMoney. “Whether the president ordered this construction or not, he has benefited. And if you benefit, then you ought to pay something,” Turok told the M&G.
Who: Sandi Sejake – former veteran’s league president
When: November 2014
What: Sejake was critical of the ANC leadership saying all they are interested in doing is defending Zuma. “We [the ANC] sent people who can’t debate, but to defend their interests. They are using Zuma to feather their nests,” Sejake told M&G. He said: “These are the people who don’t have the interest of South Africa at heart.”
Who: Mavuso Msimang – former home affairs director general
When: November 2014
What: Msimang accused the ANC leadership of failing to deal with public concerns. He was furious with the way the party dealt with the Nkandla debacle. “Nkandla is going to stay on the agenda for as long as it stays unresolved,” Msimang told the M&G.
Who: Thabo Mbeki – former president
When: October 2012
What: Before Zuma was re-elected as ANC President, Mbeki lashed Zuma’s leadership of the country, warning that South Africa was being allowed to “progress towards a costly disaster of a protracted and endemic general crisis”. Mbeki said he was uncertain of the future of the country.