Thabo Mbeki believes ANC and state positions should be separate

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Thabo Mbeki believes ANC and state positions should be separate
NOSTALGIC: Former President Thabo Mbeki says being elected to a position in the ANC does not automatically mean occupying a position in the state. PICTURE BY Business Day

He said this decision that a Premier should not hold the position of ANC provincial chairperson was taken by the movement at a previous congress, only to be quashed in Polokwane.


Former President Thabo Mbeki has said the ANC made an error when it chose to do away with its 1997 resolution separating ANC and state positions.

He said it is wrong for ANC provincial chairpersons to automatically become Premiers once the ANC wins elections.

He said in the 1997 Mafikeng conference which elected him as President they resolved as ANC membership that “if you are a chairperson of a province, that’s fine and if you are a Premier that’s fine but don’t mix the positions up”.

Mbeki addressed the Eastern Cape ANC’s extended PEC meeting this week Monday 31 May 2021.

He said this was the reason suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule couldn’t be Premier of the Free State despite being provincial chair since 1992.

During Mbeki’s tenure a Premier was appointed by a President like how a minister is normally appointed.

But in the 2007 Polokwane conference, which elected Jacob Zuma as ANC President, the delegates did away with the decision and said the chair of a province would automatically be a Premier. The PEC now has powers over the appointment of a Premier.

Mbeki said: “If I’m running to be chairperson of the ANC in the Eastern Cape you are making a commitment that you are gonna be a loyal servant of the ANC in the Eastern Cape and do away with the expectations that because I’m gonna be chairperson therefore I’m gonna be Premier.

“So that conference in Mafikeng said these are separate,” he said, adding that a “false argument of two centres of power” was pumped in Polokwane to quash the Mafikeng conference.

“There is no such thing as two centres of power. That argument was cooked up in order to achieve particular things,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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