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Dissidents to launch party in December

By unknown | Nov 03, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ido Lekota

South Africans who are disillusioned with the current political parties' failure to meet their needs, including the ANC, will soon have a champion to look up to.

Yesterday leaders of the so-called Shikota movement announced that they would launch a party on December 16 in Bloemfontein.

This announcement followed the two-day convention organised by the Shikota movement attended by more than 4000 delegates from all walks of life in Sandton at the weekend.

Yesterday Shikota spokesman Phillip Dexter said the new party would be "a real democratic party that focused on the upliftment of the poor and improving the quality of life for workers".

Dexter, a former SACP treasurer general, said the ANC was no more a social democratic party. He said instead of serving the interest of the poor, the party was now engaged in defending its leaders.

"We have not seen any social democracy in South Africa in the past 18 months," said Dexter.

When questioned about the fact that leaders of the Shikota initiative were tied to ANC history - hence the call by some of its members to name the party the South African National Congress - Dexter said the congress was their home "and we are not making any pretences otherwise. The congress is in our blood".

Mbhazima Shilowa told a media conference that the movement's steering committee had not yet decided on a name for the new party.

"We will hopefully finalise that over the next two to three days. We'll take the decision today, but obviously we'll need to be able to look at how do you finalise it."

Shilowa also indicated that the current steering committee would be broadened to include other leaders outside the ANC.

The Shikota committee at the moment consists of former ANC members who resigned from the party, accusing the ANC leadership of being undemocratic and having abandoned the Freedom Charter.

Meanwhile, former ANCYL regional chairman of the Amathole region in the Eastern Cape Lindile Mhlophe told Sowetan yesterday that he was leading a campaign to form a new youth movement to align with the Shikota initiative.

"We will replace the ANCYL structures in all the provinces," said Mhlophe.

He named actor and TV personality Hlomla Dandala as one of the drivers of the new youth movement.


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