Cyril, Zuma set Tuesdays aside to chat
ANC closes its ranks and shuts down two centres of power claim
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
OWN PROCESS: Nokwanele Bhalizulu speaks to ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa in Qunu, near Mthatha, yesterday.