ANC Veterans' League wants answers on Zuma

Newly elected president Snuki Zikalala says the ANC Veterans' League wants an impeccable leader without 'smallanyana' skeletons who is committed to ANC values. /Tsheko Kabasia
Newly elected president Snuki Zikalala says the ANC Veterans' League wants an impeccable leader without 'smallanyana' skeletons who is committed to ANC values. /Tsheko Kabasia

The ANC Veterans' League is to seek an explanation from the ANC national executive committee (NEC) on why it failed to act against President Jacob Zuma.

Its newly elected president Snuki Zikalala told Sowetan yesterday the NEC was responsible for the rot in the ANC.

"Whatever is happening in the ANC we are blaming the NEC. The NEC should have pronounced on the 783 corruption charges President Jacob Zuma [may] face and the Nkandla issue. The NEC should have taken action," Zikalala said.

Staunch Zuma supporter, NEC member and Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association president Kebby Maphatsoe hit back, saying the association would have a problem with Zikalala if he starts by attacking Zuma.

"He has just been elected into office. His role should be to revive the veterans' league."

Veterans must be given more powers: Mantashe 

The veterans' league, which is a body of ANC elders, has the same powers as the ANC women's and youth leagues.

Like the leagues, the veterans have a delegation that sits in the NEC, which is the highest decision-making body in between conferences, and it also sends a delegation to the ANC elective conference.

Zikalala, former head of news and current affairs at the SABC, said the league wanted the ANC constitution to be adhered to and for the executive to be held to account.

Zikalala was seen as a staunch supporter of former president Thabo Mbeki during his tenure at the SABC.

He refused to be drawn into the ANC succession battle, saying the league was not a factional organisation.

"We are not interested on the preferred candidate. We want an impeccable leader without smallanyana skeletons. We want a leader who is committed to ANC values and who will be able to rebuild the ANC," Zikalala said.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are seen as front-runners in the ANC leadership race.

The veterans' league will take part in a national consultative conference called by a group which refers to itself as ANC stalwarts and veterans next month. "The national consultative conference is a platform through which we can be able to do introspection. We need to discuss how can we fix what went wrong. We need to know why Cosatu is saying the president must no longer address them," he said.

Zuma tore into the ANC stalwarts and veterans at the first day of the ANC policy conference in June.

He labelled them as weak individuals who thought they were strong. The stalwarts boycotted the conference.

In his maiden speech in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, at the weekend, Zikalala decried that the veterans' league was not respected in the ANC.

"The younger generation tends to treat veterans with disdain. We must reclaim our rightful position in society."

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