EFF leader Julius Malema on Tuesday ridiculed the African National Congress (ANC) mayoral candidates’ planned visit to the residence of former president Thabo Mbeki.
“Why would you need an endorsement from your member? You should ordinarily know that your member is voting for you. They said Mbeki is their member and Mbeki himself said he is an ANC member. Imagine me asking Mbuyiseni to go his home at Orange Farm to announce that I will be visiting him. That is stupidity,” said Malema after touring the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) national results operations centre in Pretoria.
“That is lack of thinking. We’re killing them. They have run out of ideas. We are setting the agenda, they come after us. We are young people, full of energy and ideas. We are led by intellectuals and not people who survive through some struggle credentials but thinking dololo (nothing).”
On Tuesday morning, Mbeki was scheduled to host ANC Gauteng mayoral candidates Parks Tau, Thoko Didiza and Mzwandile Masina at his home in Johannesburg. It emerged that only Tau visited Mbeki. The scheduled visit by the ANC officials came after Malema and top EFF officials visited Mbeki’s home on Monday to canvass for his vote for Wednesday’s local government elections.
“Three mayoral candidates were expected and only Parks went. I don’t know but he is going there for the second time. I don’t know if he didn’t get what he wanted in the first meeting,” said Malema.
“They had agreed to go see Mbeki, and then they backtracked because somebody said to them ‘you are going to be seen to be following the EFF’. Then they somersaulted. It’s an organisation in a crisis.”
On Monday, after the EFF leaders’ visit to Mbeki’s home, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe poured cold water on the Malema engagement with the statesman.
Mantashe said there was nothing special about the EFF visiting Mbeki
“The ANC’s approach of leadership is to meet everybody. There’s nothing special about Mbeki meeting EFF,” Mantashe said on Monday while briefing the media on his party’s state of readiness for the elections.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told African News Agency (ANA) that the party had visited Mbeki to achieve two objectives.
“The leadership of the EFF visit president Mbeki on two things, firstly to canvass his vote, and secondly, to formally introduce the leadership of the EFF to him because the EFF is a significant player in the political space in South Africa,” Ndlozi said.
“(Former) President Mbeki received us extremely well. He even walked us out and gave us hugs when we left.”
Despite ANC leaders and veterans calling on Mbeki to canvass for the ANC, he has been notably absent from rallies on the campaign trail.
The ANC Gauteng leadership last week said it had accepted Mbeki would not campaign for the party, and that it would not beg him to garner votes for the ruling party.
Mbeki was recalled as president of the country by the ANC in 2008.
– African News Agency (ANA)