Veterans want leader who will put people first
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.
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.