SA's ex-leader rejects ANC role
Thabo Mbeki was seen by critics as aloof and pro-business
South Africa's ex-leader Thabo Mbeki has rejected claims by the ruling African National Congress that he will campaign for them in next year's polls.
Mr Mbeki was controversially ousted as president by the ANC party last month.
He added that ANC dissidents led by former Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota had not sought his support.
Mr Lekota resigned from the ANC on Friday ahead of a weekend convention organised by the dissidents, who are planning to form a new party.
The ANC split over a power struggle between Mr Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, who defeated Mr Mbeki to become party leader last year.
I refuse absolutely to rule from the grave
Former South African president
In September, Mr Lekota was among several ministers who left the government in anger at Mr Mbeki's ousting by Mr Zuma's supporters. The weekend conference is likely to set out the plans to form the new party in December.
Mr Mbeki made his comments in a lengthy letter to the ANC, first published in South Africa's Star newspaper, expressing his "surprise" at claims by Mr Zuma and others that he was planning to campaign for the ANC.
He said that last December at the party convention, when he lost the party leadership, he had warned of the "grave challenges" the ANC was facing.
But he said he was not going to get involved in the internal politics of the ANC as the movement had "lost confidence" in him.
"I refuse absolutely to rule from the grave," he said.
Mr Mbeki stood down in September after a judge suggested he may have interfered in the prosecution of Mr Zuma on corruption charges.
The former South African leader strongly denies the allegation.