Mbeki 'snubs' Zuma

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Facebook
JOHANNESBURG - A decision by statesman Thabo Mbeki not to attend President Jacob Zuma's speech in his honour on Friday is being interpreted as a direct snub of Zuma's leadership.

The address in Aliwal North, Eastern Cape is part of a series of ANC Centerary lectures on the lives of past leaders.

Both Mbeki's office and the ANC have denied Zuma has been snubbed saying he cannot make it because of prior commitments.

But Forum for Public Dialogue CEO Prince Mashele said it’s clearly a snub.

“Quite clearly, Mbeki has come to the conclusion that South Africa is drifting in the wrong direction under the leadership of Zuma.”

He added that by Mbeki not attending Zuma’s lecture, he is making a clear statement.

Meanwhile, political analysts said the tabling of a motion of no confidence in Zuma in parliament is unrealistic.

A total of eight opposition parties banded together and announced their intentions on Thursday.

But the ANC plans to fight back with a counter motion.

The party's Moloto Mothapo said, “Such a stand will be laughable or dismissed with silent contempt it deserves if it did not make a mockery of parliament. It is unacceptable!” 

Constitutional expert Paul Hoffman said the opposition's move is a long shot.

“There is certainly an element of opportunism in it. The motion would not have occurred if the deputy speaker would have been a bit more democratically-minded and prepared to allow debate."