Mbeki resigned as president in September after losing a leadership struggle to Zuma. In a letter to Zuma, leaked to the South African press this week, Mbeki said the ANC suffers from corruption, nepotism and tribalism, The Times of London reported.
Mbeki went on to accuse Zuma of attempting to create a "cult of personality" like that attached to the late Kim Il Sung in North Korea. He said he was shocked that the party announced he would be campaigning for it.
"I appeal that nobody should abuse or cite my name falsely to promote their partisan cause, including how the 2009 ANC election campaign would be conducted," he said.
A group of ANC dissidents, led by former Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, planned to hold a convention this weekend to found a new political grouping. Mbeki, in his letter, stopped just short of endorsing the move.