Veter­ans want leader who will put peo­ple first

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - LUY­OLO MKEN­TANE luy­olo.mken­tane@inl.co.za

TO RE­DEEM it­self, the ANC will have to re­view its mech­a­nisms on the elec­tion of party lead­ers as that would dis­cour­age can­di­dates from “au­di­tion­ing” for cru­cial lead­er­ship po­si­tions.

That was the view of ANC stal­warts and veter­ans who briefed the me­dia in Joburg yes­ter­day fol­low­ing the Jan­uary 8 state­ment, which marked the party’s 105th birth­day in Soweto at the week­end.

Former cab­i­net min­is­ter Syd­ney Mufamadi said the Jan­uary 8 state­ment, which was de­liv­ered by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, out­lined a lot of is­sues that were of con­cern to ANC mem­bers.

How­ever, it was up to the gen­eral mem­ber­ship to be the fi­nal ar­biters on what they wanted to do with the is­sues raised, he said.

Mufamadi said they hoped the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee’s state­ment would go a long way to ad­dress the chal­lenges of fac­tion­al­ism and “the frenzy on who should be pres­i­dent”.

Peo­ple needed to re­alise there was more at stake than pre­oc­cu­py­ing them­selves with who should suc­ceed Zuma as ANC leader. He called on can­di­dates to stop “au­di­tion­ing for lead­er­ship”.

Those who were al­ready in the race to suc­ceed Zuma dur­ing the ANC’s elec­tive con­fer­ence last month in­cluded his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Ramaphosa made his in­ten­tions clear last year when he said he was ready to suc­ceed Zuma. He has since re­ceived en­dorse­ments from Cosatu and the SACP.

The former union­ist, how­ever, faces a strong chal­lenge from Dlamini Zuma, who has the back­ing of the ANC’s women and youth leagues, and the Umkhonto we Sizwe Mil­i­tary Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion. It is be­lieved that she also has the sup­port of North West, Mpumalanga and Free State.

Mean­while, the ANC has lashed out at the ANCWL’s ill-dis­ci­pline for pro­nounc­ing on its de­ci­sion to back Dlamini Zuma

Yes­ter­day, an ANC vet­eran, the Rev­erend Frank Chikane, said the former lib­er­a­tion move­ment needed to con­sider re­view­ing the man­ner in which it elects its lead­ers.

The crit­i­cal is­sue, he ex­plained, was not about who suc­ceeded Zuma but rather the qual­ity and ori­en­ta­tion of the next party leader, and to make sure that the ANC re­mained pro-poor.

“This is about fix­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion to cre­ate a cli­mate where it elects lead­ers who will pur­sue the in­ter­ests of peo­ple and not the fac­tions that elect them,” Chikane pointed out.

ANC veter­ans have been call­ing for a na­tional con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence to ad­dress chal­lenges be­dev­illing the or­gan­i­sa­tion, such as fac­tion­al­ism and cor­rup­tion.

Zuma spoke out against th­ese ills on Sun­day.

Chikane said the group of veter­ans would meet the ANC top lead­er­ship next week to dis­cuss the modal­i­ties of the con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence, which they wanted to be held soon.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI

TIME TO TALK: ANC veter­ans Syd­ney Mufamadi, Fazel Ran­dera and the Rev­erend Frank Chikane be­lieve a con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence will help to ad­dress chal­lenges be­dev­illing the rul­ing party.

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