LEKOTA gives ANC meeting A miss

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Former ANC chairman Mosiuoa "Terror" Lekota has snubbed efforts by the ANC leadership to extend an olive branch.

Lekota was supposed to meet with ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa at Luthuli House in Johannesburg yesterday but did not pitch.

On Wednesday Phosa announced he would meet with Lekota after the former defence minister said he was "serving divorce papers" on the ANC, stopping short of announcing the formation of a new party.

Lekota blamed the current ANC leadership under Jacob Zuma of having veered away from the principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and of becoming undemocratic.

Ishmael Mnisi, ANC media coordinator, confirmed that Lekota did not arrive at a meeting scheduled to take place at ANC headquarters.

"He did not pitch up," Mnisi said. "Comrade Phosa and other NEC members were waiting for him."

But Mnisi said the ANC was prepared to engage Lekota at a future meeting.

"We will wait in anticipation for him," he said.

"We have not closed the possibility of speaking to him. He is a member of the ANC and we will not judge him."

A member of Lekota's group yesterday said the meeting was a publicity stunt by Phosa.

"There was no meeting arranged with Phosa," the informant said. "Terror would not meet with Phosa alone because this issue is not about Terror but about ANC members who have been marginalised by Zuma's people.

"This was media hype to make the ANC appear like they want to talk, whereas the opposite is true."

Another Lekota camp member accused the ANC of trying to divide them by inviting Lekota alone to Luthuli House.

"This thing is not only about comrade Terror," he said.