Cape lead­er­ship are in party mood

Hope to emerge a more united ANC from birth­day

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - TSHEGO LEPULE

THE ANC in the Western Cape says it hopes to emerge from the party’s birth­day cel­e­bra­tions more united af­ter a year marked by crises in the prov­ince’s lead­er­ship.

Speak­ing to The Star yes­ter­day, ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Faiez Ja­cobs said the party en­dured many chal­lenges last year but planned to re­new their com­mit­ment to good gov­er­nance this week­end.

The pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship was tested in 2016 when the rul­ing party’s Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee stepped in and ap­pointed a task team af­ter Ja­cobs’s sus­pen­sion, and chair­per­son Mar­ius Frans­man was asked to step aside.

Ja­cobs had been sus­pended for 18 months af­ter as­sault­ing a party’s re­searcher Wes­ley Seale in 2015.

His sus­pen­sion was later sus­pended for three years.

Frans­man, who was only sus­pended in Novem­ber last year, had ini­tially been asked to step aside while in­ves­ti­ga­tions were con­ducted into al­le­ga­tions of sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing Louisa Wy­nand on a trip to the ANC’s birth­day bash last year.

A fur­ther de­cline in votes fol­low­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions last year also dealt a blow to struc­tures in the Western Cape.

Yes­ter­day, Ja­cobs added that their pri­or­ity was to come back from the cel­e­bra­tions as bet­ter leaders.

“The mes­sage that is to come out of this week­end is one of recom­mit­ting our­selves to the move­ment and to the peo­ple we were elected to serve,” he said.

“We have made mis­takes but our pri­or­ity this year is to unite our peo­ple and the or­gan­i­sa­tion. There are a lot of chal­lenges faced by them and this year we are striv­ing to ad­vo­cate for them through our var­i­ous pro­grammes. Our peo­ple de­serve a bet­ter ANC.

“Our peo­ple de­serve bet­ter leaders; those of us elected must know that none of us, in­clud­ing my­self are big­ger than the ANC. Those who come in with a self-en­rich­ment ap­proach must be dealt with.”

When asked what the pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship struc­ture took away from the sus­pen­sion of two se­nior mem­bers, in­clud­ing him­self, Ja­cobs stressed the im­por­tance of own­ing up to one’s mis­takes.

“As leaders none of us are per­fect, when we make mis­takes, we must be hum­ble and apol­o­gise and learn from those mis­takes.”

The party’s em­bat­tled pro­vin­cial chair­per­son Frans­man said he has yet to de­cide on whether to at­tend Sunday’s cel­e­bra­tions at Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto.

Last year, Frans­man re­turned from fes­tiv­i­ties in Rusten­burg un­der a dark cloud fol­low­ing the al­le­ga­tions he fon­dled Wy­nand while trav­el­ling to the North West.

“The irony is that (yes­ter­day), one of the big­gest po­lit­i­cal stunts were pulled on me with the in­tent to de­stroy me po­lit­i­cally and per­son­ally,” he said.

“And 12 months later, there have been a lot of chal­lenges but I am still stand­ing.

“This week­end the ANC meets to cel­e­brate and unify mem­bers. It’s im­por­tant to note that in­sta­bil­ity in the coun­try will only be cre­ated by in­sta­bil­ity within the ANC.

“So it is not enough to speak out against cor­rup­tion but rather take no­table ac­tion to root it out.

“My hope for this year is the ANC will show co­her­ence in prac­tice and calls for leaders to unite. It can­not be busi­ness as usual.”

Mar­ius Frans­man

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