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Shock as Mbeki omitted from proposed ANC renewal commission

Former president had been expected to play a major role

The exclusion of former president Thabo Mbeki from a list of names proposed as members of the ANC’s renewal commission has raised eyebrows

As many as 10 names were discussed at a meeting of the national working committee (NWC) on Monday after they were presented by the party’s top six officials.

The list included national executive committee (NEC) members Thoko Didiza, Ronald Lamola and Senzo Mchunu.

Members of the NWC were, however, said to be shocked to learn that Mbeki, who they had expected to play a major role in the commission, was not on the list.

The Sunday Times understands this became a sticking point, with several people in the meeting questioning the decision.

Mbeki had already started working on the renewal programme and recently visited the ANC in the Free State to help the party rebuild.

“We have said they must reconsider. Thabo Mbeki is one of the cadres of this movement, he’s a reservoir of knowledge and it would be a terrible mistake if he was not in that commission,” said a NWC member.

He said everyone was shocked by the omission of Mbeki. “There was no explanation. Questions were raised but we never got the answers. So we said they must go and reconsider.

“We need him there, if he can’t be there he must just come in as an adviser or something,” he said.

Members of the working committee were adamant that serving NEC members such as Didiza, Lamola and Mchunu should not be included in the renewal commission.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed that the NWC meeting agreed that the top six officials should go and “clean up” the list and present it to the next NEC meeting at the end of March.

Mabe did not explain if this cleaning up meant adding Mbeki to the list, but said the issue raised at the meeting was that the 10 names being proposed were too many for the commission.

“There is no issue with TM [Mbeki] playing a role in the commission, the issue was the number. So it was referred back to the officials,” Mabe said.

–Sunday Times

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