Zuma's stern warning against ill-discipline in party
ANC president Jacob Zuma has issued a dire warning: defy the ANC and face serious consequences.
He warned delegates attending the opening of the party's national policy conference in Midrand yesterday that ANC members who continued to show ill-discipline would be dealt with.
Zuma even intimated that ill-disciplined members risked being expelled from the party.
"The ANC should be able to cleanse itself of wanton ill-discipline," he said to the sound of approving applause by the estimated 3500 delegates.
The president also cautioned against increasing levels of "corruption, abuse of power, careerism and patronage".
Zuma's stern warning on ill-discipline would not have escaped those who took him lightly in 2010 when he issued the same rebuke to the ANC Youth League.
At the party's national general council two years ago in Durban, Zuma scolded the youth league for misbehaving, even calling for "revolutionary discipline" wherein youngsters respected their elders.
Months later, ANCYL leaders Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu and Sindiso Magaqa were hauled before the party's disciplinary committee for comments deemed by party elders to be in direct contravention of the organisation's constitution as well as having brought the ANC into disrepute.
Earlier this year, Malema was expelled from the ANC after numerous unsuccessful appeals lodged against sanctions handed down by the national disciplinary committee as well as the national disciplinary committee of appeals.
Zuma's harsh warning may be interpreted as a veiled threat to ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola .
Speaking at a youth league policy workshop at Unisa's main campus in Pretoria last Thursday, Lamola criticised Zuma for prioritising development at his rural homestead in Nkandla at the expense of national development.
Lamola even suggested that Zuma, unlike his predecessors Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela, did not understand national priorities.
The ANC then dismissed Lamola's assertions as "distasteful", even warning him against jumping into the trenches of people in opposition to the ANC.
Zuma also criticised the ANC veterans league for not guiding the youth, instead apparently worsening potentially "controversial situations".
His criticism could be interpreted as an attack on veterans league president Sandi Sejake, who recently called for Zuma to be dumped at the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in December for his ties to the Guptafamily. Sejake alleged that ministers were appointed by instruction from the Guptas.
Zuma called for fast-tracking of political development of cadres, both old and new, arguing that "no one should think they know ANC politics better than others".
Zuma's words may also have been directed at ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni, who reportedly questioned SACP general secretary and staunch Zuma ally Blade Nzimande's credentials in the ruling party, at a heated special NEC meeting two weeks ago.