ANC gives Madiba a new role

FORMER president Nelson Mandela is expected to become the first president of the ANC Veterans League when the party launches its house of the elders this month.

FORMER president Nelson Mandela is expected to become the first president of the ANC Veterans League when the party launches its house of the elders this month.

ANC insiders say the elders are expected to provide leadership to squabbling members of the tripartite alliance.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said the veterans league had the potential to be the most important arm of the ANC.

"If one considers the squabbles and public spats between ministers who are also ANC leaders, the elders would play an important role," Fikeni said.

He said veterans like Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki played vital roles in contestations between former president Thabo Mbeki and the late SACP leader Chris Hani.

"In the past the ANC effectively utilised the elders during succession races to approach individuals whose rivalry was dividing the organisation and advised them to step aside," said Fikeni.

Other ANC luminaries expected to hold senior positions in the structure include Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada.

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