Schism Brewing in South Africa's Ruling Party

Angry Mbeki loyalists planning to break from ANC
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2008 10:55 AM CDT
Newly elected South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, addresses Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, Sept 25, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mike Hutchings-Pool)
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(Newser) – Thabo Mbeki’s top officials are planning to break away from the party that deposed him, the Guardian reports. Mosiuoa Lekota, who spent nearly a decade as Mbeki’s defense minister, today announced a conference that he sees as a step on the path to “divorce” from the African National Congress. “This is probably the parting of the ways,” Lekota said, accusing ANC leadership of “eliminating our internal democracy.”

Lekota said ANC President Jacob Zuma was subverting the law to avoid corruption charges. “What has happened to the clause in the Freedom Charter: all shall be equal before the law?” he said. But Lekota’s complaints that Mbeki supporters are being marginalized may ring hollow, the Guardian notes, given that the ex-president’s critics were viciously vilified until he was deposed.