‘ANC is in trouble’
Party shaken, Zuma tells the youth league
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has admitted that the ANC is in trouble and that the governing party has been shaken.
But Zuma, who was made the concession while delivering his keynote address at the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) consultative conference last night, was stopped in his tracks from explaining further.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and his deputy, Jessie Duarte, intervened and called him to order.
Zuma appeared to have caused consternation among his senior comrades when he said: “There are many people who will want the ANC to disappear and they are trying everything, because there’s no alternative. The youth league has been shaken and also the mother body has been shaken. We admit that the organisation is in trouble.”
Zuma added: “Now I can guarantee that if everything goes wrong with the ANC, everything will go wrong with this country.”
It was then that the senior ANC leaders were seen calling him and whispering to him.
A visibly embarrassed Zuma then said: “No, the officials were making an intervention, so I had to make an intervention to them.”
It was only the second time that the president had left his comrades on the podium dismayed.
He had earlier, while talking about some of the flaws that have afflicted the ANCYL and ANC, referred to the mistakes of 2005, the year he was suspended from his position as the country’s deputy president by then president Thabo Mbeki, on allegations of corruption.
“The youth league must not have the objectives that are contrary to the ANC. There are mistakes that have happened in this glorious movement since 2005. Mistakes must not repeat themselves. I
“If my tongue was going to tell you… I will come (to tell you) when you have time. The impact it has made, has led to other things I can’t say. (But) don’t worry, one day I will tell you,” Zuma said, without explaining.
“We as the leadership made a mistake by not attending to it (the problem). We must eradicate the lack of discipline and the negative tendencies such as gatekeeping, and the bad influence of money, lack of respect for one another and lack of understanding of the values of the ANC and what it stands for,” he added. Zuma explained why the national elective conference was converted into a consultative conference. He revealed that some provinces had threatened to bring parallel, rival structures and delegates to the national conference while others had threatened to interdict the congress.
“We called the chairpersons and the mother body, because we knew a decision that you must take, must be a decision that must have the support.
“Comrades, it was very logical therefore to convert this conference, not to be elective but consultative, and to reflect (on the state of the ANCYL). So the decision is correct. You must feel, perhaps as an individual or a group that this is not correct. This is the most correct decision. Let us sit down and discuss politics. Let us put the ANC first.”
Zuma also took a swipe at those criticising the ANC-led government.
“You know every morning I listen to some programme on some radio station… people phone and say so may negative things. Those people are few. We are all keeping quiet and listening to negative (things) when we should correct it. How do we defend the ANC. You tweet. There are a few who do, but I want more.
On the ideal ANCYL, Zuma said: “It should be the ANC that will conscientise people to revolutionary militancy and not anarchic militancy.”
If things go wrong for ANC, it will go wrong for country