Leading KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Protas Madlala believes ANC president Jacob Zuma is extending "an olive branch to former president Thabo Mbeki".
Zuma confirmed yesterday on SABC Radio that Mbeki would be asked to help the ANC in its campaign for next year's general election.
Madlala believes that the test is up to "Mbeki to be seen as a dedicated cadre of the party". He said when Mbeki fired Zuma, Zuma did not launch his own party but offered to do "whatever the party asked of him".
He said efforts by ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, who has also announced that Mbeki would be asked to help the ANC in its campaign, should not be seen "in the same light as Zuma's [request]".
"He [Malema] has shown total disrespect for Mbeki and insulted him while he was still president of the country."
On the launch of a new political party Madlala said: "Those who want to break away are powerful only because of their role in the party.
"Outside the ANC they are unlikely to wield formidable positioning. The ANC has a very loyal membership. Many see the party as their mother and father.
"That's why Zuma himself chose not to form a breakaway party when he was fired by Mbeki."