Mbeki Defends Phala Phala Criticism in ‘Robust and Cordial’ Meeting with Top ANC Leaders
ANC officials held a “robust and cordial” meeting with former President Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday evening. Mbeki reportedly criticised the party for protecting President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Phala Phala saga. Mbeki had previously written a letter condemning the ANC, which prompted the meeting.
During the meeting, Mbeki defended his public criticism of President Ramaphosa, insisting that the party should not use its majority to shield him from answering questions about his alleged role in the theft of US dollars from the Phala Phala game farm in Limpopo. According to News24, Mbeki accused the ANC of trying to protect Ramaphosa “at all costs”.
ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said the meeting discussed the letter in a “comradely and collegial spirit” and focused on constitutional democracy, parliamentary oversight, and how they should manage these elements. She emphasised the ANC’s view that when all three arms of the state work together, they can thoroughly ventilate any matter of national interest.
In his letter, Mbeki likened the Phala Phala saga to the “Nkandla matter” involving former President Jacob Zuma and asked why the ANC in Parliament had blocked any investigation into it. He cited former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo’s finding that Ramaphosa had a case to answer concerning the theft. Nevertheless, the ANC used its majority in Parliament to block an inquiry into the matter in December 2021.
Ramaphosa was absent at the meeting on Tuesday evening, and there were no reported conflicts between Mbeki and ANC officials. However, the insider said that Mbeki lectured the officials about the importance of accountability and parliamentary oversight.
The upcoming Cabinet meeting will reportedly address two topics: the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant for President Putin, and his scheduled visit to South Africa in August