‘Mthembu must lead by ex­am­ple and re­sign first’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

DUR­BAN — The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said yes­ter­day that the party’s chief whip Jack­son Mthembu should lead by ex­am­ple by re­sign­ing first, rather than mo­bil­is­ing oth­ers in the party to do so.

“Mthembu should do the hon­ourable thing and re­sign first, with­out mo­bil­is­ing oth­ers to do the same,” said provin­cial spokesper­son Mdu­miseni Ntuli.

Ntuli was re­spond­ing to Mthembu’s com­ments made in a City Press re­port at the week­end, where he was quoted as hav­ing said that the cur­rent lead­er­ship had re­duced the party to some­thing that left a bit­ter taste in the mouth.

“Why should we not step down, given that we have messed up? All these things hap­pened un­der our watch,” Mthembu was quoted as say­ing.

The party’s poor per­for­mance in the Au­gust 3 lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions had also caused some ten­sions af­ter it lost three key met­ros: Tsh­wane, Jo­han­nes­burg and Nel­son Man­dela Bay.

Sev­eral se­nior ANC lead­ers have also ex­pressed their un­hap­pi­ness about the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Author­ity’s de­ci­sion to charge Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han with fraud. Ntuli said Mthembu was a member of the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee and the Na­tional Work­ing Com­mit­tee and both these groups had sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties to raise and dis­cuss chal­lenges fac­ing the party af­ter the elec­tions.

“The most dan­ger­ous thing that a leader can do is to con­duct them­selves like com­rade Jack­son — he has gone out­side of the agreed po­si­tions of the ANC.

“He is el­e­vat­ing him­self and po­si­tion­ing him­self to be above the col­lec­tive of the ANC.”

Ntuli said the ANC worked as a col­lec­tive and “if you be­have like Jack­son, you be­come a pop­ulist. He must not be a pop­ulist”.

“If his views were not en­ter­tained by the NEC, then he should not go out­side of the or­gan­i­sa­tion and speak to the me­dia about his views. This means that all 90 NEC mem­bers can go to the me­dia and ex­press their views, but they can’t be­cause we are not a foun­da­tion of in­di­vid­u­als.” Ntuli said Mthembu should be reined in. “He must be made to ac­count for his ut­ter­ances and he must ex­plain why his views are more im­por­tant than the col­lec­tive.”

Ntuli said he did not be­lieve that Mthembu was speak­ing for a par­tic­u­lar fac­tion, but rather for him­self.

“I don’t think he is speak­ing for a col­lec­tive. I think he is the first per­son who is brave enough and hopes that oth­ers will fol­low suit. This does not nec­es­sar­ily mean that he has a fol­low­ing.”

“Re­mem­ber that Mthembu is not just an or­di­nary member of the ANC, he is the chief whip, and he has the power to di­vide the ANC cau­cus in Par­lia­ment.”

Ntuli said the ANC in KZN firmly dis­agreed with Mthembu’s ut­ter­ances and be­lieved that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and the NEC should not re­sign. Ntuli said Zuma would fin­ish his term of of­fice. How­ever, po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Pro­tas Mad­lala dis­agreed, say­ing he be­lieved that this was the be­gin­ning of the end of Zuma’s term in of­fice.

“It is a fact that [Jack­son] Mthembu is not the only se­nior leader to speak out. Sipho Pityana and many other lead­ers have come out guns blaz­ing and this shows that the lead­ers do not see eye to eye and are di­vided.

“To be hon­est, [the party’s elec­tive con­fer­ence in] 2019 is too far for them to keep Ja­cob Zuma around. If the likes of [sec­re­tary general] Gwede Man­tashe and [deputy pres­i­dent] Cyril Ramaphosa sup­port Pravin Gord­han, they do not have a choice but to re­move Zuma be­cause I am afraid that, this time, this is it for Zuma. This is the be­gin­ning of the end of his term.”

Mad­lala said lines would be drawn on Novem­ber 2 when Gord­han ap­peared in court to an­swer to charges stem­ming from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of his con­duct.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing to see who goes out to sup­port him,” Mad­lala said.

NPA head Shaun Abra­hams an­nounced this month that Gord­han, for­mer deputy SARS com­mis­sioner Ivan Pil­lay and for­mer SARS com­mis­sioner Oupa Ma­gashula, would be charged with fraud re­lat­ing to Pil­lay’s early re­tire­ment and the ex­ten­sion of his con­tract. — Sapa

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