President Thabo Mbeki’s bid to hang on to the presidency of the African
National Congress (ANC) will step up a gear today when the president
faces the nation in a two-hour SABC radio interview this evening, write Karima Brown and Hajra Omarjee in Business Day.

The interview has drawn outrage from Mbeki’s opponents in the ANC and its allies, with the Young Communist League (YCL) accusing the public broadcaster of favouring Mbeki over ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma.

The SABC said last night the interview would be carried on 15 of its public service radio stations.

Mbeki and Zuma will face off when an increasingly bitter leadership race reaches its climax at Polokwane later this month.

The SABC’s alleged bias towards Mbeki and the ANC government has been a consistent theme of opposition parties, with the recent “blacklist” furore raising concern that public figures not sympathetic to Mbeki were being censored.

YCL secretary Buti Manamela said yesterday the interview, to be broadcast between 7pm and 9pm, amounted to “manipulation” and the use of the broadcaster for “a narrow and opportunistic” leadership contest within the ANC.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.