ADDIS ABABA, Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), and for South African president, says unity and renewal of the ANC is important.

In an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Monday in Addis Ababa, where he was attending the annual sumit of the African Union (AU), the former president reflected on the party’s national elective conference held in Johannesburg last month when South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected the new president of the ANC, succeeding President Jacob Zuma, whose term has as party president has ended.

The leadership that has come out of that ANC conference is making the statement about a united organization. The issue of unity is important, the issue of renewal of the ANC is important, fighting against corruption and so on ,… which are correct messages. I think we should give them a bit of time for them to address the agenda they are stating, Mbeki said

Mbeki added, however, that if the ANC wants to be renewed it has to be cleansed. There are many people and corrupt elements who have been embedded in the ANC from the branches up to the National Executive,” he asserted.

“If you want to renew the ANC, you have got to make sure it is cleansed from that element that has managed to come in.

Mbeki announced his resignation as president of South Africa in September 2008 after being recalled by the NEC of the ruling party following a conclusion by Judge C. R. Nicholson of his improper interference in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Zuma for corruption.

In January 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously overturned Judge Nicholson’s judgment but the resignation stood.

Mbeki also called on party members to give new ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa a chance, saying Ramaphosa was sending out a positive message. Let’s give this new leadership a chance to do what it has promised to do. And we are ready to assist the ANC to do the right things.

Mbeki said he was ready to support the governing party as it embarks on a renewal process.