“But he was also somehow directly questioning the understanding of the former president and his predecessor of the ANC and the trajectory the ANC has been pursuing over the past 106 years in terms of the national question.”
Ntuli said he did not think that Mbeki’s weighing in on the sensitive land question should have been done the way it was‚ let alone finding its way into the public domain.
“He is a former president of the ANC. He has the right to sit in the NEC. I think that the debate could have been more productive and more dignified if it is taking place internally in the movement‚ so that when we go out we go with a uniting view about what we mean about the national question.
“Now we believe that this discussion is necessary but it must happen internally in the movement first and foremost because‚ if he takes to the public domain‚ the temptation to some of our comrades may be to deal with what appears to be personalised attacks to former president Zuma rather than the substance and content of his argument.”
However‚ Ntuli acknowledged that Mbeki had raised some critical issues which the ANC must engage on.
“But I also think he went overboard. You can’t personalise a trajectory to one leader of the ANC. If the ANC in his analysis appears to have taken a tangent from its historical responsibility and history of the party‚ it can’t be a party leader doing that because when you make it a party leader‚ you are isolating the leaders from the party and you are projecting the organisation more of an instrument of a party leader rather than the leader of the party who belongs to the collective.”