Editorials 1.8.2016 09:02 pm

Is Mbeki telling Zuma to EFF off?

Picture: Facebook

Picture: Facebook

The former president has been ‘too busy’ to campaign for the ANC in the run-up to tomorrow’s elections, but he availed himself for a photo op with the EFF.

The DA rubbed the ruling party up the wrong way by using former president Nelson Mandela for its election campaign. So intense was the battle for the icon’s name and legacy that his family threatened to take the official opposition to court.

As if that was not enough, yesterday the EFF posted a picture of its leader, Julius Malema, meeting another ANC stalwart, Thabo Mbeki, at the former president’s Houghton home.

“We are leaving here confident that the issues raised with him will convince him to do the right thing on August 3,” Malema told reporters outside Mbeki’s home.

Mbeki has evidently refused to campaign for the ANC in the run-up to tomorrow’s elections. His meeting with the leadership of the EFF just 48 hours before the country’s hotly contested election could be perceived as a tacit endorsement of the red berets. But it’s more likely just a giant slap in the face of Jacob Zuma and his supporters, who gave him the boot in Polokwane.

Mbeki has never been the kind of man to do something he doesn’t want to do, and which isn’t keenly calculated. You don’t just rock up in Houghton on a door-to-door campaign to “bump into” Mbeki and give him a red T-shirt.

Former DA leader Tony Leon nearly begged Mbeki to give him a public debate, but it never happened.

No. Mbeki did this very pointedly, and it seems he and Malema are happily using each other for their own ends – although some might say they have at least one common goal: showing Zuma the middle finger.

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