Man­tashe’s lob­by­ing warn­ing

ANC SG warns del­e­gates not to bring suc­ces­sion bat­tle into pol­icy con­fer­ence

Afro Voice (KwaZulu Natal) - - Politics - BONOLO SELEBANO bono­los@the­

THE ANC yes­ter­day “cau­tioned” its branches, struc­tures and al­liance part­ners against sus­tain­ing the ruc­tions play­ing out over the party’s suc­ces­sion bat­tle through­out the course of the gov­ern­ing party’s na­tional pol­icy con­fer­ence, which kick-starts to­day.

Brief­ing jour­nal­ists at the venue, the Nas­rec Expo Cen­tre in Jo­han­nes­burg, ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe warned against all forms of lob­by­ing, in­clud­ing the chant­ing of slo­gans and songs that could be per­ceived as di­vi­sive when del­e­gates gath­ered from to­day on­wards.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to truly cau­tion it­self. The big­gest threat to the health of the ANC is en­gag­ing each other through the lens of the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence be­cause we are dis­agree­ing with each other on who to nom­i­nate, there­fore that be­comes the ba­sis of en­gage­ment, where ev­ery­one is sus­pi­cious of each other,” Man­tashe said.

Man­tashe’s com­ments come as ANC branch mem­bers and del­e­gates are ex­pected to be ad­dressed by President Ja­cob Zuma, who is ex­pected to give the open­ing ad­dress.

The gath­er­ing also comes against the back­drop of an ANC suc­ces­sion bat­tle that re­cently kicked into higher gear af­ter the ANC Youth League and MK Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion gave an em­phatic nod of ap­proval for for­mer African Union chair­per­son Nkosazana DlaminiZuma to take over the ANC pres­i­dency.

Hot on her heels for the ANC throne is deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who has been en­dorsed by Cosatu and Sanco.

Man­tashe said that while the ANC was alive to the dan­ger that songs in­tended to “hurt” party lead­ers could be sung by del­e­gates, the party would do its best to put a muz­zle on all forms of dis­rup­tions.

“We can’t out of the blue ban any songs of the president of the ANC but once we man­u­fac­ture new songs about our­selves.

“Songs of the move­ment that are there will be sung but we want songs to be sung to unite, not to hurt.”

Man­tashe also warned that dis­rup­tions, heckling and boo­ing would re­ceive zero tol­er­ance.

“If you’re try­ing to lure the ANC into ad­ven­tur­ism or pop­ulism, we are cau­tion­ing our­selves against it by say­ing we must dis­cuss poli­cies of the ANC. That will guide us in run­ning the con­fer­ence so those who come to test the balance of forces are free do so but I won­der how will they do it be­cause if you just come here and howl, you end up out­side of the con­fer­ence. We will not al­low that.

“Peo­ple must de­bate the poli­cies of the ANC, we won’t al­low peo­ple to in­tim­i­date each other, we want peo­ple to per­suade each other,” Man­tashe also con­firmed that the party’s stal­warts and veter­ans, who are sig­na­to­ries of the For the Sake of our Fu­ture document as well as the MK Coun­cil, would not be in at­ten­dance.

De­spite this, he said the con­fer­ence would go ahead as planned.

“They took a de­ci­sion not to come. MK veter­ans took a de­ci­sion not to come. They are not real struc­tures of the ANC but cadres of the move­ment to come to­gether to ex­press their col­lec­tive con­fer­ence and we took a de­ci­sion to tol­er­ate that.”


TAK­ING STOCK: ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe, left and spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa, right, speak to the me­dia on the party’s pol­icy con­fer­ence, start­ing in Jo­han­nes­burg to­day, warn­ing del­e­gates to con­duct them­selves in a man­ner which will not dis­rupt...

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