‘ANC is in trou­ble’

Party shaken, Zuma tells the youth league

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LEBOGANG SEALE lebogang.seale@inl.co.za

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

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