Lekota, comrades in hushed meet

Former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota has met ANC leaders at Luthuli House, Johannesburg, party spokesman Ishmael Mnisi said yesterday.

Former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota has met ANC leaders at Luthuli House, Johannesburg, party spokesman Ishmael Mnisi said yesterday.

Mnisi did not give details on the nature of the talks or which leaders were present.

Lekota sharply criticised the new ANC leadership in an open letter to secretary-general Gwede Mantashe last week.

He accused the leaders of steering the organisation "away from the established policy priorities and customary democratic norms of the ANC".

The letter was seen as yet another indication of an impending split in the ruling party, following its recall of former president Thabo Mbeki and a swathe of resignations, including those of Cabinet members and Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa.

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, a member of the NEC, responded in his own open letter, saying: "Put bluntly, you and those who share your views are giving notice to leave the ANC."

Lekota had claimed that ANC members who expressed views contrary to popular opinion were later "hounded out" and "purged" from organisational and state structures.

"Sectoral and individual interests other than those flowing from the people's interests as expressed in the Freedom Charter are elevated to levels of national priority."

The ANC Youth League has likened Lekota to a dying horse aiming his last kicks at the party. - Sapa

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