Mr Mbeki, who is proposed as President Nelson Mandela's heir, told the Star newspaper yesterday that the ANC was a broad movement that would break up as South Africa normalised after centuries of white domination. He said he could foresee the ANC breaking up as the different elements within the movement identified with different schools of political thought.
"Out of the same ANC you will get a social democratic party, you will get a liberal democratic party and so on,'' Mr Mbeki said. "As South African society becomes more normal and the further away it moves from the apartheid past, the closer you get to the transformation of the ANC." But before any split would occur, the ANC would finish its mission of "achieving a non-racial society".
The ANC was originally formed in 1912 by black intellectuals to oppose the onset of legalised racial discrimination, but over the years the movement has grown to include trade unions, Communists, liberals, churches and the rural poor.