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ANC Should Not Tell Lies To Itself But Understand The Situation In The Country – Thabo Mbeki


Former South African President Thabo Mbeki answers questions in Parliament in Cape Town, September 20, 2000. While refusing to recognise the HIV virus as the sole cause of AIDS, Mbeki said that the linkage between them formed the basis of his governments AIDS policy. Mbeki has come under increasing criticism, both internationally and from within the ranks of his alliance partners, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), for his stance on the issue. MH/JRE - RTR8FX5

Former President Thabo Mbeki has urged the ANC to be honest with itself and admit it is in trouble.

Mbeki said : “Leadership should not tell lies to itself but understand the situation in the country, all the challenges and, indeed, why it was elected. You go to parliament not only to represent the people but to demonstrate this by the interventions you make to solve the problems facing you. ”

Speaking at the 20th anniversary of the constitution in Freedom Park yesterday, Mbeki questioned the role of civil society and the lack of activism in the defence of the constitution.

He said civil society was unfamiliar with the constitution and that it was clear that there was a lot of restlessness and disaffection in the country.

“I think that if there was a better familiarity with the Constitution then you would have a bigger social intervention in defence of the constitution against whatever negative is being done,” said Mbeki.

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He did not mention anyone by name but said those in government should uphold and protect the constitution, the product of a long liberation struggle.

“Everybody that was involved in the liberation of South Africa … I think there’s a special responsibility that falls on their shoulders. The constitution should be a daily document that helps us to act to build the type of SA it spells out. I think it is what may save us from wrong things that governments do, including presidents,” said Mbeki.

The Constitutional Court recently ruled that the sitting president had violated the constitution .

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