Leadership can't deal with state capture - ANC veterans

Former president Thabo Mbeki. /Thulani Mbele
Former president Thabo Mbeki. /Thulani Mbele

ANC veterans have called for a judicial inquiry into state capture, which they said undermines the governing party.

They said this yesterday at the end of a three-day consultative conference held in Johannesburg, which was also attended by members of civil society.

They accused the governing party's leadership of being unable to deal with the corruption and incompetence that they say point directly to President Jacob Zuma's office.

Among those who attended the conference were former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, Gauteng premier David Makhura, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, anti-apartheid stalwart Barbara Masekela, former South African National Defence Force head Siphiwe Nyanda, national executive committee member Bheki Cele, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

They also called on the party to make its Integrity Commission to be made an independent constitutional structure "with the capacity to act independently from and without the influence of the ANC [national executive committee], including the president of the organisation".

The conference, which comes a month ahead of the ANC conference, also called for the professionalisation and modernisation of the ANC "with priority being given to the membership system".

In his closing address yesterday, Mbeki said the veterans and stalwarts were dealing "with rot that has infested the organisation as a whole".

"It is clear that the ANC has been captured by a dominant faction, which in fact is not ANC... in its values, in terms of what it does day to day. Money that should have gone into some municipality has been stolen. That can't be the ANC. It's not," he said.

Mbeki said the things that had gone wrong in the party hurt the country's population.

Sisulu said she was happy with the resolution of the indaba, saying ANC members needed to find each other before next month's conference.

She said while the stalwarts and veterans were harsh on the NEC, of which she is a member, they had every right to their views.

One of Zuma's staunchest supporters, Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association president, Kebby Maphatsoe, lashed out at Mbeki, labelling him a bitter man who was defeated at the ANC Polokwane conference in 2007.

"People who are bitter and lost election in 2007 have been issuing statements about this current leadership. They have never accepted this current leadership. The ANC will never be captured."

Maphatsoe told Sowetan Mbeki and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa were speaking the same language.

"There are people who have been captured by white monopoly capital. We speak about radical economic transformation, they speak about a new deal."

Ahmed Kathrada Foundation executive director Neeshan Bolton said Zuma has denied the existence of state capture even though the evidence is out there.

Former cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko said he was motivated by sacked deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas who spoke out about the Gupta's state capture attempts.

"The only difference between me and Mcebisi is that the Guptas demanded that I use R600-million in their media company, in your case they offered you R600-million."


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