JOHANNESBURG – Thabo Mbeki has stayed away from the ANC’s election campaigns since he was ousted at the 2007 Polokwane conference and recalled as state president in 2009 in favour of former president Jacob Zuma.
On the campaign trail for the ANC, former president Thabo Mbeki says in the past he couldn’t honestly tell people to vote for the party.
He says they were saying there’s a good story to tell whilst wrongs were being done. “It becomes comfortable for me now to say vote ANC,” said Mbeki.
“The organisation is trying to make a detailed commitment. It’s made in specific terms and in this context we don’t want to continue veering off course.”
Mbeki said he hopes people will vote for the ruling party.
Mbeki’s first campaigning in more than a decade came on the same day that the DA sent its former leader Tony Leon out to canvass for the party in Gauteng.
The ANC received a two-thirds majority of the vote in Gauteng when Mbeki held the reins of the party’s presidency in 2004, at the height of its support in the province. Electoral support tanked under the rule of former president Jacob Zuma.
Today the ANC is vulnerable in Gauteng, where it held just 54% of the support after the 2014 general elections and the DA hopes to push it below the required majority.