The African National Congress’s decision to recall President Thabo
Mbeki was unjust, minister in the presidency Essop Pahad said on
“I personally do not agree with the decision of the NEC (National
Executive Committee). I think the decision was profoundly unjust,”
Pahad told journalists following the final cabinet briefing under
He said that the NEC could have dealt with the matter in another way.
He described the meeting as emotional with ministers giving account of their tenure under Mbeki.
On whether there was a split within the party following Mbeki’s resignation on Sunday, Pahad said he had no knowledge of this.
“There is no discussion of any kind of split anywhere. There is no
single mention of that. I am not aware of any discussion to create a
split within the ANC,” he said.
He indicated however that Mbeki would be appealing inferences made
by Judge Chris Nicholson that cabinet had interfered in judicial
“it is our view, that it is very necessary to appeal because any
false record which indicates cabinet had interfered with the work of
the public prosecutor would be unconstitutional and wrong,” he said.
The appeal would be limited only to inferences about the involvement
of the president as well as cabinet as a whole in interfering with the
work of the public prosecutor. Touching on resignations, Pahad said he
did not see a problem with ministers resigning.
“Individual ministers resigned in their individual capacity.”
He added, “Those of us who resigned, I’m told, our resignations take effect as from one minute past midnight.”
On whether other ministers had indicated whether they would resign,
Pahad said he was not aware of any other minister resigning but that
there could have been other resignations.
“There might have been one or two who resigned today [Wednesday],” he said.
On whether there would “drastic” policy changes with the new
leadership, Pahad said: “I am not aware of any resolution from
Polokwane which suggested fundamental departure from present policies,”
The new president elect of South Africa, expected to be Kgalema
Motlanthe, will be elected at a parliamentary sitting in Cape Town on
Pahad did not know if Mbeki would be present at parliament. “I don’t
know what his diary says,” he said. On what he would be doing with his
time following his resignation, Pahad said: “As of tomorrow I’ll look
for a new job”.