If there is corruption in government, then it means ANC members are part of it, added Mbeki.
He went on to say: “The veterans' league of the ANC decided two years back that it was necessary to implement the decision of the national conference on ANC renewal. That conference said there must be renewal and added ‘for the survival of the movement’.”
He said when meeting in Nasrec in 2017 some could already see that “if we do not act on this renewal thing, the ANC will die ...”
The conference said the national executive committee [NEC] must attend to the process and report what it has done to the national general council [NGC].
“It wanted urgent action, but because there was no movement, the veterans' league said we are offering to intervene. We are not interested in positions, we do not support factions, renewal is going to be a very challenging thing but these are experienced cadres of the movement who are ready to make a contribution to the renewal of the organisation.”
One of the proposals was on vetting the current membership of the ANC. “They then proposed a screening process so that we can avoid factionalism, a process to go through this membership and make recommendations on what should happen.”
This would ensure that the ANC had the right quality of members. “It is very important to ensure that the quality of cadres is right, because if we don’t we are going to lose the capacity to lead because people won’t accept [those elected].”
When the ANC took a decision to expand its membership by a million, Mbeki said, “we were not careful to say do we have the capacity to process that number of people. We didn’t have the capacity.”