Former President Thabo Mbeki meets with any political party which has asked for a visit, he told reporters on Tuesday. This, after the EFF leadership visited the former statesman on Monday in the run-up to the local government elections on Wednesday.
“The EFF asked to see me, so I meet anybody who asks.
“(DA leader) Mmusi has come already – the EFF asked to come, so I said fine. “The (ANC) mayoral candidates said they want to come, so I said fine.”
Mbeki was speaking at his residence in Johannesburg, where he was supposed to be visited by the ANC’s three Gauteng mayoral candidates. Instead, Mbeki was visited only by City of Johannesburg candidate Parks Tau. Tshwane metro candidate Thoko Didiza and Ekhuruleni metro candidate Mzwandile Masina did not make the visit due to their attending to “urgent matters” in their regions.
“What I was told is that the three mayoral candidates would come to see me, so I said fine. It was perfectly legitimate; I am a resident of Gauteng, and so they thought that it would be proper … merely to convey … to say in this ward, this is what we are doing, these are challenges that we face, this is the kind of population you have here.
“Unfortunately the two of them (mayoral candidates) said they had to go to Ekhuruleni and Tshwane to attend to some urgent matters.”
Mbeki has not campaigned for the ANC in this election, which he put down to its leadership being capable of doing that, and that he also had to travel the continent.
“I am sure the ANC leadership … I am quite sure they are perfectly capable of handling this. Plus, I have to be wandering around the continent quite a bit. Even last week I was in Tanzania … I think that the campaign is in capable hands.”
He further reiterated that his vote was a secret.
Speaking about his meeting with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), also on Monday, Mbeki added: “I met with the IEC yesterday – the chair, the deputy chair and other members of the IEC came to brief me about the preparations that they have made for the elections. And it seemed to me from their report that, from that side, the necessary preparations have been made. I think now the task remains on us, the voters, to do our bit, which is to go to vote.
“I will vote tomorrow.”