National 29.7.2016 06:00 am

We don’t know why Mbeki is silent – ANC

Former president Thabo Mbeki. File Picture: Refilwe Modise

Former president Thabo Mbeki. File Picture: Refilwe Modise

Provincial ANC leaders don’t know if the former president will show up at the party’s final election rally, as ‘he might have other things to do’.

The ANC in Gauteng says that although it does not know why Thabo Mbeki has not been part of the election campaign, it is certain that the former president remains a member of the ruling party in good standing.

Provincial leaders were responding to a question from The Citizen about whether Mbeki would attend the Siyanqoba rally at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium on Sunday.

This is the party’s last rally ahead of the local government elections on Wednesday.

“We in Gauteng don’t invite anyone because Siyanqoba is a national rally and [our role] in the province is just to mobilise our members,” said provincial secretary Hope Papo. “I can confirm that Mbeki is an ANC member in good standing and we don’t know what the reasons are for him not campaigning.

“He probably had other things to do.

“But we are confident and sure about comrade Mbeki’s support for our movement and he remains one of our respected leaders.”

It was reported last week Friday that Mbeki was reluctant to endorse President Jacob Zuma, allegedly due to “rampant corruption”.

The party said it was confident of victory in all municipalities, including Tshwane, where recent Ipsos surveys suggested the DA has the upper hand. “We have seen different surveys, including Ipsos, but we, as the ANC, have also been doing our own analyses on a daily basis, on the basis of every ward that we have been campaigning in, and we remain confident,” said Gauteng ANC deputy secretary and former Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa.

Commenting on the suggestions by some opposition party leaders that the ANC could rig the vote, the party’s provincial chairperson, Paul Mashatile, said those parties knew they were going to lose and that this was just an excuse.

“These parties are beginning to prepare reasons for why they are going to lose,” said Mashatile. “The way the elections are run in South Africa doesn’t leave room for rigging and opposition parties understand that.

“People vote in a voting district with all party agents present, so anyone who is concerned about how the elections are going to be run must be there because they are allowed to be at the voting stations.

“Immediately after the voting stations close, the counting starts there in the presence of all party agents, who then sign off the results.”

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