Pravin, Hanekom heckled in ANC policy conference talks

Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan met the wrath of youths calling for expropriation of land without compensation. / THULANI MBELE
Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan met the wrath of youths calling for expropriation of land without compensation. / THULANI MBELE

ANC policy discussions took an ugly turn yesterday with insults being hurled at former cabinet ministers, including Pravin Gordhan who was heckled for refuting the phrase "white monopoly capital".

But in the end, the ousted finance minister's argument won.

From now on, nine out of 11 commissions decided the ruling party will use the phrase "monopoly capital", and not "white monopoly capital".

Several ANC sources who attended the closed commissions that discussed economic policy proposals said supporters of President Jacob Zuma, who support radical economic transformation, hurled insults, shouted down and heckled Gordhan and former tourism minister Derek Hanekom.

Hanekom was targeted for arguing against constitutional amendments to allow for expropriation of land without compensation, a matter over which ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe also warned against yesterday.

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The heated discussions took place at commission number three, which was chaired by the ANC's head of economic transformation Enoch Godongwana.

At commission number four, which was chaired by Sport Minister Thulas Nxesi, after Land Minister Gugile Nkwinti took ill, there were attempts to silence Dputy Minister of Public works and SACP leader Jeremy Cronin for opposing the changing of the constitution to address the issue of land.

The two commissions were deadlocked by the time they took their lunch break yesterday. But, just after 4pm, it emerged that proponents of the "white monopoly capital" concept had been defeated.

The charge for "white monopoly capital" was led by delegates from the youth league and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as former youth league leaders Pule Mabe and Sindiso Magaqa.

" They kept insisting that the ANC must agree on "white monopoly capital", there must be expropriation of land and also said a few things about a state bank," an insider said.

Kwazi Mshengu, chairman of the youth league in KZN, confirmed the heated meetings.

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"There were serious heated debates, particularly on the issues around expropriation of land without compensation and 'white monopoly capital'. Obviously, there are divergent views," he said, without divulging further details.

"I'm not going to mention names, but obviously there were some comrades that were saying there's nothing such as 'white monopoly capital' and they were vigorous in terms of advancing that view. As the youth league, we were also very vigorous to say it is insufficient to simply categorise it as 'monopoly capital'."

Sources said Hanekom drew the wrath of delegates when he said the proposal on the amendment of the constitution was "nonsense" and he was called to order.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is the preferred candidate for the pro-Zuma camp in the ANC succession race, also spoke at the behest of the youth league.

"She made sober points... She spoke about what we really need for our economy," the source said.

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