'New party does not our worry us'

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

KwaZulu-Natal ANC leader Zweli Mkhize has poured cold water on suggestions that the ruling party is in a crisis.

Responding to the "imminent launch" of a splinter party in protest against the recalling of former president Thabo Mbeki, Mkhize said: "The leadership is not worried. The ANC has a loyal support base.

"Several structures have developed out of the ANC and the party has survived."

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday Mkhize said the ANC leadership is aware that there are "some members who are aggrieved" about the decision to recall Thabo Mbeki.

"It is true that some members were not happy about this. Some were affected personally.

"As leaders we understand and acknowledge this. We ask that they discuss this within party structures."

Mkhize said while some chose to speak up others were using the "recalling as a tool to launch a new party, which goes against the principles of the ANC".

Mkhize, who is respected for "honesty" by political experts, said it was unfair that critics of his party, including the media, continued to label the new leadership as "autocratic".

He also rejected reports that the current ANC leadership was on a witch-hunt to purge former "Mbeki premiers".