"I'm done with the ANC."
These were the words of former Cosatu and Sadtu president Willie Madisha at a mini-convention yesterday.
He was addressing hawkers and residents of the mining town of Burgersfort in Limpopo.
Madisha joined a number of prominent ANC members who severed ties with the ruling party ahead of the national convention of the splinter party this weekend.
He said he was continuing to mobilise for the proposed new party to be led by former defence minister Mosioua Lekota in the interim.
"I am officially announcing my resignation from the ANC," Madisha told a cheering crowd.
"The ANC we fought for has lost direction. It is no longer the one that we knew for many years, so we took a conscious decision to come up with a new party that will keep the ANC on its toes."
Madisha also took a swipe at ANC president Jacob Zuma, labelling him "the biggest thief".
"Zuma has threatened to reveal the names of those he claimed were involved, with him, in corrupt activities." Madisha said. "But why does he try to stop the case going to court so that those people can also be arrested?"
He advised his followers to avoid a civil war "at all costs".
Madisha said he was wary of a situation in which a war might erupt as a result of "irresponsible" utterances by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
He said he was confident the new party had garnered enough support and was looking forward to the national convention in Sandton, Johannesburg.
But he said he had not yet served the ANC with "divorce papers".
"People wishing to join us in the new formation must not burn or tear up their ANC membership cards or T-shirts," Madisha said.
"They should return them to the organisation and announce their resignations."