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Former president Thabo Mbeki faces criticism over ‘Zuma destroyed our democracy’ comments

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Former president Thabo Mbeki is facing a wave of backlash over his comments that his successor Jacob Zuma “destroyed” South Africa’s democracy.

Mbeki also slammed Zuma for his support for the Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party.

This comes after Zuma announced in December that he would vote for MKP and not the ruling party in the upcoming elections but maintained that he would remain an ANC member.

Mbeki said it did not make sense that Zuma wanted to remain a member of the ANC while voting for another party to defeat the ruling party.

“You can’t say I remain a member of the ANC but I support a party that is going to campaign to defeat the ANC. That doesn’t make sense. One of those two things is wrong,” he said.

Mbeki addressed the annual lecture at the University of South Africa (Unisa) on Wednesday night in Pretoria where he blasted Zuma for his role in creating chaos in the political landscape.

During the lecture, the former president alleged that MK was led by the same people who tried to destroy Sars, “the same people.”

On Wednesday, the MK party youth league announced during a media briefing in Johannesburg that they were putting Zuma’s name forward as the presidential candidate for the party.

Social media users described Mbeki as “an old bitter man” who allegedly rejected the African National Congress (ANC) after being unseated in Polokwane.

Many accused him of not campaigning for the ANC after mentioning that his vote would be a secret.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Andile Mngxitama, the president of Black First Land (BLF), said Stellenbosch had sent Mbeki to derail MKP from running for power.

“Stellenbosch had unleashed Thabo Mbeki to try to derail the MK tsunami. It’s too late. The ANC is getting out of power. Mbeki played with a two-thirds majority. We remain landless in our country thanks to Tbos. Viva MK. Uyatatazela uRupert,” @Mngxitama2 said.

@Gentlements said Mbeki was an old bitter man who rejected the ANC.

“Thabo Mbeki is a bitter old man who rejected the ANC after he lost in Polokwane. He said his vote is secret and never campaigned for the ANC,” @Gentlements said.

On the issue of load shedding, former Eskom Boss, Matshela Koko said Mbeki was manipulative, deceitful, and sly in his narrative of what caused load shedding in 2007-2008.

He said “What former President Mbeki did yesterday was an attempt to change the belief that his government was directly responsible for the first incidents of load shedding in 2007-2008.

“He grossly misrepresented the facts. Of course, Eskom is not going to correct him for obvious reasons. The fact is, the reserve margin in 2007 was down to 2% instead of 15%. The power system ran out of peaking generation capacity.

“The 1000MW of OCTGs that the government promised was nowhere to be found. That is why we quickly had to construct Ankerlig and Garikwa. It took us 19 months to do that.

“I found the Former President manipulative, deceitful, and sly in his narrative of what caused load-shedding from 2007 to 2008.“He needs to man up and accept his culpability,” @koko_matshela said.

He said Mbeki was correct to apologise for the things that his government couldn’t do.

Meanwhile, in Zuma’s favour, a user said Zuma was at the level of the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“President Jacob Zuma is on the level of President Vladimir Putin. Thabo Mbeki is stuck in Polokwane and we also happened to know that he has been recently neutralised by Cyril Ramaphosa after he showed some signs of “misbehaving”.

“Many don’t know this but Mbeki is spineless. Ubaba will always blue tick this sorry back but we his children will not always keep quiet when he is attacked. Mr Thabo Mbeki stay in your lane please,” @UmkhontoOwethu said.

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