'Not ANC business if Mbeki talks to Cope'

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

The ANC will not take any action over reports that former president Thabo Mbeki had been called in to mediate in Cope's internal battles.

"We are not going to ask the former president as to whether he was approached or not. The ANC has nothing to do with this matter," ANC spokesperson Jessie Duarte told Sowetan yesterday.

Last week the Sunday Times reported that Mbeki had met Cope's policy head Smuts Ngonyama to discuss issues of tribalism within the party.

On Monday Mbeki's spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga disputed the report.

"It's not true the former president is involved in any mediation," he said.

Mbeki's name has in several instances been linked to the breakaway party, formed by loyalists unhappy about how the ANC had fired him as president of the country.

ANC insiders confirmed that some members of the party leadership were "unhappy" with Mbeki's alleged role in Cope.

They however pointed out that the party would not take any action because "we do not want a situation where we create public sympathy [for Mbeki] - like we did when he was recalled".

"The Dalai Lama of Cope [the nickname given to Mbeki] will leave [the ANC] on his own accord," said an ANC insider.

He said Mbeki would be dealt with in the same way as the former Limpopo premier, Sello Moloto.

"Moloto tried to push the ANC to fire him but we did not. He eventually left the party on his own accord."