Zuma calls for cleansing of ANC

ANC President Jacob Zuma greets delegates before the start of the ANC Policy conference taking place at Nasrec. Picture Credit: Masi Losi
ANC President Jacob Zuma greets delegates before the start of the ANC Policy conference taking place at Nasrec. Picture Credit: Masi Losi

ANC president Jacob Zuma has called on the party to cleanse itself from all the “negative tendencies” that are creeping into the party.

“To restore and maintain its character‚ the ANC needs to cleanse itself from the negative tendencies that have crept in over the years.

“These tendencies — which have been outlined before — include patronage‚ corruption‚ social distance‚ factionalism‚ abuse of power and membership system anomalies such as the reported manipulation of the membership data‚ gate keeping and bulk buying of membership‚” said Zuma.

He was speaking at the party’s 5th national policy conference at Nasrec‚ south of Johannesburg which commenced on Friday.

Zuma said the ANC needed to resolve its difficulties and continue with its mission to transform South Africa and build a better life for all.

Turning to factionalism‚ Zuma said this was “a cancer that must be rooted out” of the party because it had tarnished the ANC’s image.

“It has caused splits from the ANC which has negatively affected us both quantitatively and qualitatively. Slate politics‚ another manifestation of factionalism‚ has cost us many good and capable comrades in whom our movement has invested significantly‚” Zuma added.

About 4‚000 ANC members‚ alliance partners and invited guests will seek to find policy solutions at the forum on issues such as radical economic transformation and land expropriation without compensation.

The six day policy conference is designed to encourage mass participation in shaping the direction the party and the government takes.

The ANC has become increasingly divided over Zuma’s leadership in recent months due to a string of corruption scandals‚ diminishing public support and economic instability caused partly by a cabinet reshuffle in March which saw respected former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas‚ being axed.

Before he took to the podium‚ Zuma shared some lighter moments with his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and the party’s top six.

On his arrival‚ Zuma was welcomed along with his wife Bongi Ngema with ululations from thousands of members.

Those calling for him to step down don’t have the power to do so‚ says Zuma

Jacob Zuma told the ANC delegates that they were the ones with powers to hire and fire mayors‚ councillors‚ premiers‚ MECs‚ ministers and the president.

He made the point when he was reminding the delegates that they came from the ANC branches and they best knew the living conditions of the people.

“You elect people and you now take orders from them. You elect a president and some people who have no right tell you he must go and they have no right.

“People take your power and you keep quiet. You are the ones who can hire and fire‚” Zuma said.

There have been several calls from civil society movements‚ churches and some leaders in the ANC for Zuma to step down following several scandals or bad decisions made by him. Some of the decisions‚ including removing former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene as well as Pravin Gordhan led to the economy finally slipping into recession.

Zuma also hit back at the 101 veterans‚ who include Mavuso Msimang‚ Murphy Morobe and Wally Serote‚ who have called for him to step down and had proposed that ANC hold a consultative conference which they have now boycotted.

Zuma said they think they thought they were above the branch members who elected him.

“Here are the people who elected this fellow‚ he is messing up. Here are important people who elected me.

“We know some of them and they are not as strong as they think.”

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