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'Socially distant ANC' can't claim to lead society: David Mabuza

Deputy President David Mabuza lays a wreath on the tombstone of struggle stalwart Peter Mokaba at Mankweng cemetery, near Polokwane, Limpopo.
Deputy President David Mabuza lays a wreath on the tombstone of struggle stalwart Peter Mokaba at Mankweng cemetery, near Polokwane, Limpopo.
Image: Alaister Russell

The ANC has “socially distanced itself” from South Africans and can no longer claim to be a leader of society until it changes its ways, says party deputy president David Mabuza

Mabuza on Friday addressed members of the ANC Youth League during a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of former league president Peter Mokaba. Mabuza's visit forms part of the ANC's build-up to its January 8 celebrations.

Mabuza said in an effort to deal with social issues that plague South Africans, especially young people, the ANC was recommitting to rebuilding and renewal and going back to communities, particularly where the party governs.

“We have heard the concerns of our people while criss-crossing the country and they spoke to us about their concerns. One of their biggest concerns is that we have moved away from our people. 

“There is a social distance between us and the people but we claim to lead. We are recommitting ourselves here to close that distance. Now we are going to find ourselves within the people. We can't claim to lead society if we are away from these people we claim to lead,” said Mabuza.

He called on ANC members to go back to communities, attend to their problems and improve service delivery.

Mabuza also believes that despite the ANC’s many problems, the party has the capacity to self-correct. He emphasised that the ANC was not corrupt but that its image has been dented by some of its corrupt leaders. 

“Some people are saying the ANC has too many problems and the ANC will die, but the ANC will never die.

“The ANC has the power to self-correct. We will correct ourselves and we will get rid of unwanted elements within our ranks like criminals and all those leaders within the movement who are corrupt.”

Members of the ANC sing struggle songs at Mankweng cemetery.
Members of the ANC sing struggle songs at Mankweng cemetery.
Image: Alaister Russell

Mabuza said to honour Peter Mokaba, the youth league must build its structures and be disciplined in branch meetings and conferences. 

“No-one should die. There should be no fighting in those meetings. Young people can't do that because you have a bigger role to play in this movement. We rely on your energy and we rely on your wisdom,” Mabuza told the youth league. 

“As we gather here today, we want to say to comrade Peter, we are still here and we continue with our struggle.”

TimesLIVE

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