Mbeki challenges ANC to live up to Mandela ideals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 9:14pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 2:37pm


Former president Thabo Mbeki has challenged South Africa's leadership to ask if they are living up to Nelson Mandela's standards in a pointed public challenge to his African National Congress comrades.

Mbeki - who succeeded Mandela as president in 1999 and was ultimately ousted by Jacob Zuma in a party coup - questioned whether current leaders were living up to Mandela's values.

"I think to celebrate his life properly we need to ask ourselves a question about the quality of leadership," Mbeki told a prayer gathering at the Oxford Shul synagogue in Johannesburg on Sunday.

"To say: 'To what extent are we measuring up to the standard they [Nelson Mandela and his generation] set in terms of the quality of leadership?'"

The ANC leadership has come under increasing fire over claims of nepotism and corruption.

The ANC under Zuma is preparing for national elections next year even as he faces accusations of using US$20 million worth of taxpayer money on upgrading his private residence.

Mbeki said the remaining task of transforming South Africa into a truly free, fair and equal society was "in many respects more difficult than the struggle to end the system of apartheid".