Mashatile hits out at ANC leaders already publicly campaigning to lead the party

Stood up to Zuma: Paul Mashatile. Picture credits: Gallo Images
Stood up to Zuma: Paul Mashatile. Picture credits: Gallo Images

African National Congress Gauteng leader Paul Mashatile has lashed out at leaders in the movement who have been publicly campaigning to lead the party before its elective conference in December.

The MK Council‚ which is made up of former generals and commissars of the liberation movement’s former military wing‚ are holding a national assembly this weekend at Nasrec in Soweto.

The purpose of the gathering will be to report back to MK veterans on the progress and outcomes of the engagements with ANC leadership on issues the steering committee was mandated to pursue by the gathering held on 17 December 2016.

Ramaphosa backer elected Northern Cape ANC chairANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign has received a shot in the arm after Zamani Saul was elected chairperson in the Northern Cape. 

“In fact comrades‚ I think we must be very clear about the criteria of leaders we want to elect in December before people start putting names there. I see there are already some people who have started campaigning‚ but we have not told them yet whether they meet the criteria so they must wait‚” said Mashatile to a round of applause.

“Let’s tighten up the criteria‚ then when the criteria is clear‚ we will see whether or not you fit‚ not the other way round‚” he added.

His remarks follow after some provinces and leagues have already started expressing their preferences on who should lead the ruling party when President Jacob Zuma’s term comes to an end in December.

The ANC’s Luthuli House has tried to smother the succession debate‚ but have failed to do so.

Mashatile said there appears to be denialism and a lack of courage to deal with the crisis that is confronting the ANC.

“We must root out factionalism‚ greed and ill discipline from the alliance. We must also defeat the demon of slates that allow for mediocre leaders to lead the ANC‚” Mashatile added.

The Gauteng ANC leaders have in the past been highly critical of Zuma’s leadership of the party‚ saying he should “do the right thing” and step down.

Mashatile‚ who is also the provincial MEC of Human Settlements‚ said the ruling party needs to take decisive steps and unprecedented action leading up to and going beyond the national consultative conference‚ planned as part of the national policy conference later this year.

Two days have been set aside for the conference‚ following a request from its stalwarts to have a separate consultative conference two days ahead of the national policy conference to look into the state of the party.