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By Canaan Mdletshe | Jul 06, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ANC president Jacob Zuma has warned party leaders in KwaZulu-Natal not to become "power-drunk" because of the party's recent overwhelming election victory in the province.

ANC president Jacob Zuma has warned party leaders in KwaZulu-Natal not to become "power-drunk" because of the party's recent overwhelming election victory in the province.

"Victory intoxicates, and don't get drunk over it. Be modest and respect your victory because if you don't, it could lead to your downfall.

Don't ridicule those you have defeated and you must deliver things that you promised during campaigns," Zuma told delegates to the ANC provincial general council at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus at the weekend.

Zuma also warned leaders that taking for granted the loss suffered by the IFP was akin to Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe taking its victory for granted.

"Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe got drunk by victory and we all know what happened thereafter," Zuma said.

He also sounded a warning against those who believe that the ANC's overwhelming victory in the province signified the demise of the IFP.

"There is an impression that the IFP is dead. I warn you against that. This is politics and not a football match. You don't have to create unnecessary formidable opposition by taking the parties you have defeated for granted. Treat them with respect."

During the April general elections, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal received overwhelming votes for the first time since 1994. Although the party governed the province since 2004, it did not win it decisively and had to work with other parties, such as the Minority Front.

Zuma went on to warn ANC leaders against fighting over positions, saying that could lead to factionalism.

"We had a similar problem in one of the provinces where fighting for positions led to the downfall of our party and it should not be the case here. Let's not see this victory as an opportunity for positions. This is not the time to bring on cronies and friends, but capable people," he said.

Zuma said the ANC at national level had handled its victories well since 1994.

"People respect it. If you respect your victory you win the minds of people who have not voted for you and you also make sure that you don't create an unnecessary formidable opposition," he added.

Provincial chairperson and premier Zweli Mkhize attributed the ANC's victory to unity among leaders in the province. "The unity of our movement, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, has been an inspiration to our people. The leadership demonstrated a high degree of maturity where leaders publicly demonstrated a high measure of cooperation and mutual respect," said Mkhize.

Meanwhile, former ANCYL national secretary Sihle Zikalala was yesterday unanimously elected the new provincial secretary of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.

The position became vacant after the ANC deployed former secretary Senzo Mchunu to the provincial legislature, where he is the MEC for education.

Zikalala's deputy is Nomusa Dube, the former eThekwini municipality speaker, who is also South Africa's former ambassador to the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe.


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