Riyaz Patel

Former president Thabo Mbeki says consistent with the Constitution, all South Africa’s registered political formations have an “absolute obligation” to practically contribute to the national effort to build a non-racial country.

Mbeki’s comments are in reaction to the recent upheavals in the DA, which, he understands to be underpinned by the continuing challenge of racism in the country.

The former president said It would be a matter of the “greatest concern if it were in fact true that our country’s Official Opposition, the DA, is going through a leadership crisis because of a hegemonic ascendance of a racist tendency which seeks to assert policies to that end, thus to sustain colonial and apartheid social relations.”

Mbeki said South Africans and the constitutional order will gain absolutely nothing from any “negative movement in any of our political parties towards policies based on racism.”

He said the “DA has an imperative obligation to reassure the nation, practically, unequivocally and transparently, that it is conducting and will conduct itself in terms of all its internal and public policies and programmes in a manner which truly helps to transform South Africa into a non-racial country.”

“This is an obligation which binds all the political parties which serve within our legislatures, without exception.”

Mbeki warned that those who organise and act to frustrate the realisation of the goals detailed in our Constitution “must understand that thereby they commit a criminal act against both the people and the post-apartheid legal order which has sought to defend the interests of all our people without regard to race, class, gender, sexual orientation or creed”

He added that all political formations must ensure that as elected representatives, they faithfully discharge their solemn obligation to contribute to the building of the South Africa prescribed in our Constitution.

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