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The el­ders, who have called for Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to step down, had tried for months to con­vince the ANC to in­stead con­vene a con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence to deal with the cri­sis in the ANC – one which was sep­a­rate from the pol­icy con­fer­ence and ex­tended be­yond branch del­e­gates, who were ef­fec­tively part to the prob­lems in the ANC. They wanted an in­clu­sive con­fer­ence, open to civil so­ci­ety in­clud­ing the churches. Spokesper­son for the group of 101 stal­warts and apartheid ac­tivists Mpho Mosi­mane said the ANC’s re­jec­tion of that pro­posal left them with no choice but to aban­don the con­fer­ence. The stal­warts would, how­ever, at­tend as mem­bers of the ANC if del­e­gated by their branches.

“We have ar­gued with them and said why not con­vert the con­fer­ence into a con­sul­ta­tive one and use the two days for pol­icy dis­cus­sion at the elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber. But that was re­jected on the ba­sis that, con­sti­tu­tion­ally, there had to be a pol­icy con­fer­ence con­vened.

“But those are based on in­ter­pre­ta­tion. We have com­mu­ni­cated that we are not go­ing to be part of those two days be­cause we don’t be­lieve they will achieve any­thing. It is up to the ANC to still con­sider a sep­a­rate in­clu­sive con­fer­ence,” he said.

“You can’t bring in the same struc­tures to say these struc­tures must deal with their own di­ag­no­sis and

TALK TO US Do you think the ANC stal­warts’ de­ci­sion to boy­cott the na­tional pol­icy con­fer­ence is valid?

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