Row over monopoly capital racial profiling
THE ANC policy conference got off to a disruptive start yesterday as fissures over the economy flared up.
The Star has established that President Jacob Zuma’s supporters pushed for ANC policy guru Joel Netshitenzhe to apologise for telling the media that nine out of 11 commissions agreed that monopoly capital should not be racialised.
“I will not apologise and I am willing to face the consequences,” he told more than 3 500 delegates at Nasrec, Soweto.
At a briefing on Tuesday evening, Netshitenzhe announced: “It (monopoly capital) manifests itself differently in various parts of the globe, and it would, therefore, not be correct to characterise ours as white monopoly capital.”
This drew the ire of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and North West – supporters of Zuma and the Gupta family – who wanted Netshitenzhe to apologise for what he told the media.
They argued that his report was incorrect.
“He said he presented the outcome of the commissions correctly,” said a delegate, who asked to remain anonymous.
The meeting was further disrupted after delegates supporting Zuma and the ANC Youth League, defied national executive committee (NEC) member Jeff Radebe, who wanted to start the plenary session.
“They were singing ‘Baholi bethu Siyanixelela imhlophe imonopoly’ (leaders, we are telling you that monopoly is white),” another delegate said.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe was forced to apologise on behalf of the conference’s steering committee for Netshitenzhe’s comment.
“He said Joel should not have mentioned that nine out of 11 commissions rejected the use of the (term) ‘white monopoly capital’.
“The reason is that it projected divisions rather than the fact that we had agreed to continue engaging – noting that there was no general consensus,” a delegate said.
Members of the steering committee include Mantashe, his deputy Jessie Duarte, treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, youth league secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza and all provincial secretaries – among others.
But the KZN delegates, led by chairperson Sihle Zikalala, are said not to have been appeased by Mantashe’s apology, and threatened to report Netshitenzhe to the NEC and the party’s disciplinary committee.
KZN, Free State, North West and the youth league raised countless points of order during the conference.
KZN delegates left the conference claiming victory after forcing the plenary to consider using the term “white monopoly capital”.
Sources told The Star that delegates pushed the issue hard at the plenary on Tuesday night.
“After the plenary was adjourned on Tuesday ,we went back and caucused. We had to win that one; it was psychological,” said a KZN delegate.
The delegate said some members even suggested that Netshitenzhe be stripped of his accreditation tag and be removed.
“We are not going to let it rest. Netshitenzhe must be disciplined,” said another proZuma delegate.