Jesse Duarte slams Institute of Race Relations poll as 'tactics of the enemy'

ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte during a media briefing on December 3 2013
ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte during a media briefing on December 3 2013
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mohau Mofokeng

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Tuesday labelled a poll that suggested the party was tracking towards 60% as the election approaches as "tactics of the enemy".

The opinion poll was conducted by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), and was released in December. She was addressing party members in KwaDukuza, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, at the ANC's 107th celebrations.

"Forget research that suggests the ANC will get 60% at the polls during the general elections. You must not succumb to tactics of the enemy and be complacent; go out and mobilise people to vote ANC in numbers.

"We must not rely on that [poll] but on our legs and our ability to convince people that our organisation can take the country forward. ANC with a big heart and strong legs," she said.

Encouraging party volunteers to win the hearts of the community ahead of the 2019 elections, Duarte reminded them to reach out across racial and religious lines and unite communities under the banner of the ANC. However, in order for the electorate to trust that the party has their best interests at heart, Duarte told leaders in the local structures and those deployed in government to always put the needs of the people first.

"In government we must not treat people like we are doing them a favour. We exist for the sole reason of serving the people. Do not donate people to the enemy, serve them with integrity.

"We are the ANC that goes door to door to hear the problems of our people and help them, not the ANC that will ride past in a convoy [while] people eat dust."

She punted the party's slogan of renewal, saying it meant a commitment to serving the people and not an office.

"The ANC branches here are weak, are only doing the work that pertains to the government, that is why people are leaving us and going to the IFP. That is why we are here to give you courage to be a formidable force. And make the ANC important to the lives of the people" Duarte added.

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