Zuma warns of war on cor­rup­tion and fac­tions

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LUYOLO MKENTANE @luy­olomken­tane luyolo.mkentane@inl.co.za

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma has called on ANC branches to guard against be­ing used by lobby groups and warned of an in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of the fight against cor­rup­tion and fac­tion­al­ism within the move­ment.

He also warned of mov­ing swiftly in ad­dress­ing the thorny is­sue of land re­form and re­dis­tri­bu­tion, and he wel­comed progress made so far.

Zuma made the re­marks dur­ing the ANC’s 105th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions in Soweto yes­ter­day, in which he de­liv­ered his last an­nual January 8 state­ment as ANC pres­i­dent.

He is ex­pected to pass the ba­ton to a new ANC lead­er­ship to be elected at a party con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

The new lead­ers, said Zuma, “must demon­strate a de­sire and com­mit­ment to serve the peo­ple. They must have a proven track record and be able to unite, or­gan­ise and in­spire the masses to be their own lib­er­a­tors”.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma have shown in­ter­est in suc­ceed­ing Zuma and al­ready en­joy sup­port from Cosatu, the SACP and the ANC leagues, re­spec­tively.

Yes­ter­day Zuma called for the power of ANC branches not to be “un­der­mined by slates and lobby groups”, say­ing the ANC’s power was firmly rooted in its branches.

“Branches there­fore must not al­low them­selves to be stripped of that power. That will kill the or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Zuma also called on ANC mem­bers to be de­ci­sive and erad­i­cate fac­tion­al­ism, gate-keep­ing, ill-dis­ci­pline, the buy­ing of mem­bers and the ma­nip­u­la­tion of in­ter­nal demo­cratic pro­cesses.

“All of us must fight against these evils. They are un­der­min­ing our or­gan­i­sa­tion. We can­not con­tinue with these prac­tices.”

Ramaphosa has also spo­ken out against so­cial ills dog­ging the ANC, not­ing that the move­ment was “rid­den with fac­tions” and that party lead­ers presided over them.

Zuma com­mended the ANC gov­ern­ment for putting in place pro­grammes to fight the scourge of cor­rup­tion, and called on the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem to fight the so­cial ill wher­ever it reared its ugly head, in­clud­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor.

He said the rul­ing party was ded­i­cat­ing 2017 to the long­est-serv­ing ANC pres­i­dent, Oliver Tambo, who would have turned 100 this year.

“In this year of OR Tambo we must build a car­ing, lis­ten­ing and re­spon­sive ANC. The ANC has heard the mes­sage that the peo­ple de­liv­ered dur­ing the Au­gust 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions. We ac­cept that we have made mis­takes and shall cor­rect these mis­takes,” he said.

The party lost the three met­ros of Tsh­wane, Joburg and Nel­son Man­dela Bay dur­ing the water­shed mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions, and its elec­toral sup­port fell from 62 per­cent to 54 per­cent.

Zuma said all ANC councillors had signed per­for­mance and ac­count­abil­ity agree­ments with the party, which were be­ing en­forced.

“The councillors are aware that they must be ac­ces­si­ble to the com­mu­ni­ties. ANC mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties must con­duct reg­u­lar sur­veys to gauge the lev­els of sat­is­fac­tion among their com­mu­ni­ties.”

Zuma said land, hous­ing, healthcare and ed­u­ca­tion were among the “crit­i­cal levers to­wards a bet­ter life and pros­per­ity”.

“Our land re­form and land re­dis­tri­bu­tion pol­icy has shown mea­sur­able suc­cess. How­ever, too many of our peo­ple con­tinue to suf­fer from the his­toric in­jus­tice per­pe­trated by the hor­ren­dous land dis­pos­ses­sion.

“This year we shall be­gin to utilise the Ex­pro­pri­a­tion of Land Act to pur­sue land re­form and land re­dis­tri­bu­tion with greater speed and ur­gency,” he said.

SA Na­tional Civic Or­gan­i­sa­tion pres­i­dent Richard Mdakane called on the ANC to unite in or­der to bet­ter peo­ple’s lives, and said the coun­try’s fu­ture lay in the party’s hands.

Cosatu pres­i­dent S’dumo Dlamini said it was clear from Zuma’s ad­dress that it was pos­si­ble to unite the ANC, the rul­ing al­liance and the African peo­ple.

He said they would look at the rul­ing party to unite the work­ers and that the party should be forth­right on press­ing is­sues con­fronting Africa’s most in­dus­tri­alised na­tion.

SACP leader Blade Nz­i­mande said they had noted progress brought by the ANC but more needed to be done to drive rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion.

He was also crit­i­cal of fac­tion­al­ism within the ANC.

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