President Thabo Mbeki was asked by a listener during his extraordinary interview with the SABC to make way for others by not contesting for a third term as ANC leader.
The president's answer was that he was contesting because people wanted him to do so. This is where I have a problem with Mbeki's motives for his third-term bid. According to him he can remain a leader as long as people want him. My opinion is that good leaders are those who leave office while people still want them. The results of provincial nominations indicate that the majority of ANC members want Jacob Zuma to lead the ANC. The ANC general council resolution also states that the ANC prefers one centre of power, a fact that Mbeki has conveniently chosen to distort to justify his ambitions.
I don't understand why Mbeki wants another term when there are so many good leaders within the ANC. His motives have nothing to do with the interests of the ANC or the country only his own. His contribution to the country is widely acknowledged, but he is not indispensable.
Mbeki's exit will strengthen our democracy because we won't have a situation where he instals his hand-picked successor. Many African leaders have ensured that they are not held to account by employing this tactic.
Should Mbeki succeed he will set an unfortunate precedent and tarnish the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
Khathu Makananise, Venda