Cyril, Zuma set Tues­days aside to chat

ANC closes its ranks and shuts down two cen­tres of power claim

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - LOY­ISO SIDIMBA loy­iso.sidimba@inl.co.za

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma will meet his party boss, ANC pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, ev­ery Tues­day, the gov­ern­ing party’s top of­fi­cials re­solved this week.

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule said the party’s national of­fi­cials, also re­ferred to as the Top Six, had de­cided that Zuma would meet Ramaphosa ev­ery Tues­day.

This was amid calls within and out­side the ANC for Zuma to step down as head of state.

Ma­gashule did not elab­o­rate on the rea­sons be­hind the move.

The Free State premier ad­dressed a packed multi pur­pose cen­tre in eNg­cobo near Mthatha yes­ter­day as part of prepa­ra­tions for the ANC’s Jan­uary 8 State­ment to­mor­row.

Ma­gashule said the party had its own pro­cesses and would not be dic­tated to by the me­dia, in­clud­ing the clergy, and other sec­tors of so­ci­ety de­mand­ing that Zuma be re­called as the coun­try’s pres­i­dent.

“There are no two cen­tres of power in the ANC. The ANC is the cen­tre of power; we re­solved this in the Free State in 1996,” he said.

Ma­gashule said the cen­tre wasn’t an in­di­vid­ual, but the ANC.

He also slammed the fac­tion­al­ism that has rav­aged the party, pledg­ing to serve un­der Ramaphosa even though he’d wanted ANC national ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) mem­ber Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to suc­ceed Zuma as party leader.

Ma­gashule said that be­ing elected an NEC mem­ber did not mean an ANC leader was the most ac­com­plished.

Ac­cord­ing to Ma­gashule, due to fac­tion­al­ism and slates, many ca­pa­ble ANC lead­ers failed to make it to the party’s NEC and many pro­duc­tive lead­ers were not on the high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing struc­ture in be­tween con­fer­ences.

He cited the fail­ure of SACP gen­eral sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande to make it to the NEC at last month’s national elec­tive con­fer­ence.

Ma­gashule also gave a glimpse into how he would run the ANC as its ad­min­is­tra­tive boss. He would make may­ors run, he promised, and force min­is­ters and even the pres­i­dent to give ac­count.

“Ev­ery­one must give ac­count,” Ma­gashule said.

He promised to dish out jobs to strug­gling and unem­ployed Umkhonto weSizwe vet­er­ans to work for may­ors, MECs and other state po­lit­i­cal of­fice-bear­ers.

“They can also act as your spies,” said Ma­gashule.

Ma­gashule, un­til last month the ANC’s long­est-serv­ing pro­vin­cial chair­per­son, said party mem­bers must avoid be­ing mis­led by lead­ers who wanted to use them in their quest for higher of­fice.

He warned that the ANC would lose power if it wasn’t united, as had hap­pened in the Nel­son Man­dela metro, Joburg and Tsh­wane after the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

Ma­gashule said this week’s spe­cial NEC meet­ing also dis­cussed the free ed­u­ca­tion de­clared by Zuma last month. “Free ed­u­ca­tion is only for the poor, those who earn be­tween zero and R350 000 a year. I earn over R3.2 mil­lion a year. I must pay for my chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion,” he said.

Mean­while, Ramaphosa used his visit to Man­dela’s homestead in Qunu to once again warn those who steal tax­pay­ers’ money that he would “deal” with them.

Ramaphosa, who led a del­e­ga­tion of ANC of­fi­cials to Man­dela’s res­i­dence, said the ANC would rid it­self of graft in hon­our of the late states­man.

“We will be do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to ad­here to the val­ues of Nel­son Man­dela, the prin­ci­ples of Nel­son Man­dela, for the ANC to fight all the bad things that we saw hap­pen­ing in the party,” he said.

“Those who are steal­ing money, we must deal with them. Nel­son Man­dela would want that those who steal money, we must deal with them. Nel­son Man­dela would have wanted us to rid the ANC of cor­rup­tion. Nel­son Man­dela would have wanted us to make sure that the ANC be­comes at­trac­tive to the peo­ple of South Africa once again.” – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Ge­orge Mat­lala

(MK vet­er­ans) can also act as your spies

PIC­TURE: AYANDA NDAMANE/ AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ANA

OWN PROCESS: Nok­wanele Bhal­izulu speaks to ANC pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa in Qunu, near Mthatha, yes­ter­day.

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