Sat Oct 22 19:59:43 SAST 2016

We have not come here to fire people - Mbalula

By unknown | Dec 20, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Justice Malala and Ido Lekota

Justice Malala and Ido Lekota

ANC Youth League president and chief architect of Jacob Zuma's victory in Polokwane, Fikile Mbalula, held out an olive branch to supporters of defeated President Thabo Mbeki.

The ANCYL held a media briefing in celebration of Jacob Zuma's victory over Mbeki as the new president of the ANC.

Mbalula said the victors would not seek vengeance against those who had campaigned for Mbeki and would instead build a united organisation with them.

"We will not run after them and kill them. We will convert them politically," he said.

Addressing pro-Zuma delegates after the stunning clean sweep in which Zuma and those leaders seen as being in his camp were elected overwhelmingly to take over the top six positions in the ANC, Mbalula said the losers should not think that "we have come here to fire people".

There have been concerns raised by analysts that the ANC's divisions were so deep that the party may fracture.

Mbalula and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi have been the main public spokesmen of the Zuma camp.

Vilified by the Mbeki camp, they traversed the country holding rallies and drumming up support for Zuma.

"Asizanga apha ukugxotha abantu. Size apha ukulungisa iANC (We did not come here to fire people. We came here to fix the ANC)," Mbalula said.

Speaking in isiXhosa and in Sesotho, the fiery Mbalula said thatafter conference the party should do its best to unite its fractured membership base.

The ANCYL said it would not support any move to remove president Thabo Mbeki as president of the country.

"We are not an anarchist organisation. We are committed to democracy. He (Mbeki) is the president of the country and we expect members of the ANC to respect him," Mbalula said.

Mbalula said as a former president and senior member of the ANC, Mbeki still had a role to play in the party.

He said for the next two years, the ANC faced the challenge of managing the relationship between the ANC-led government and the party.

The organisation said Zuma's victory was a "true reflection of the will of the people and the principles of the freedom charter that the people shall govern".

"Mbeki was made by the ANCYL and he was removed by the ANCYL," Mbalula said.

The ANCYL said Zuma's election was a rejection of "patronage, use of state power and resources and the rejection of two centres of power".

Mbalula made his statement in the context of allegations that some members of Mbeki's camp had used their positions in government and bribes to win over support for him.


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