The ANC on Tuesday said it held a “cordial” meeting with the representatives of the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation after the three organisations wrote a letter expressing concern at the direction the country was heading.
“The engagement was cordial, frank and robust. The meeting has agreed on the need for a follow up discussion to further engage on the issues discussed in the meeting,” the ruling party said in a statement.
“The ANC appreciates the initiative taken by these important Foundations to engage the ANC in the common quest to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society led by the African National Congress.”
In a joint letter by the three foundations representing some of South Africa’s most notable liberation struggle icons, the ANC national executive committee (NEC) was urged to “take urgent corrective action in the best interest of South Africa and its peoples”.
“We are deeply concerned about the current course on which our country is headed. We believe this course is contrary to the individual and collective legacy of our founders,” the three organisations said in the letter handed to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the ANC’s NEC meeting in Pretoria on Saturday.
The foundations referred to what it called disturbing stories in the media about state capture, following revelations that the wealthy Gupta family, who are close to President Jacob Zuma, had approached ANC members and offered them cabinet posts.
“In the spirit of our founders, we cannot passively watch these deeply concerning developments unfold and get worse by the day. Leaders such as Tambo, Mandela, and Kathrada helped shape the ANC by providing a vision of a better future for all our people,” the letter, signed by acting chairwoman of the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation Dr Frene Ginwala, chairman of the board of trustees of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Professor Njabulo Ndebele, and Derek Hanekom on behalf of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, said.
“History will judge the ANC leadership harshly if it fails to take the decisions that will restore the trust and confidence of the people of South Africa.”
The ANC said in its statement it would also meet with representatives of The New Age newspaper and ANN7 to discuss their media coverage in the days leading up to the past weekend’s NEC meeting.
The Gupta-owned newspaper and television channel named several highly placed NEC members, including deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe and Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, as being part of an “anti-Zuma brigade”.