Leaders from the Thabo Mbeki era failed “dismally” to deal with divisions in the ANC, Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan said, the SABC reported on Friday.
This “lack of assertiveness and visionary leadership within the ANC over a period of time” led to the formation of Terror Lekota’s breakaway, Jordan told a public gathering at the University of Johannesburg on Thursday evening.
The lack of leadership “weakened the ruling party’s moral authority and undermined its integrity”, said the African National Congress national executive committee member.
Jordan said the ANC failed “dismally in managing potential class and material conflicts which had arisen as result of the emergence of the rich capitalist class from within the party”.
He also said no party could lay a claim of exclusive rights to the Freedom Charter.
Congress of the People (Cope) leader Terror Lekota has repeatedly criticised the ANC for failing to respect the Freedom Charter, especially the principle of equality before the law.
This refers to the fraud and corruption charges ANC leader Jacob Zuma faced.
The ANC NEC removed former president Mbeki from office in September following a court ruling that saw the charges against Zuma dropped.
Judge Chris Nicholson also said he could not exclude the possibility of political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.
Since then, a string of high-profile ANC members have resigned and its former chairman, Lekota, alongside former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa, have announced the formation of Cope.