Cape leadership are in party mood
Hope to emerge a more united ANC from birthday
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.”