Di­vi­sive ANC T-shirts are banned, warns Ace

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - METRO - BONGANI HANS

THE ANC has banned its sup­port­ers from wear­ing di­vi­sive and in­sult­ing party T-shirts at to­day’s man­i­festo launch at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban.

“T-shirts which seek to de­fo­cus us from the agenda of win­ning elec­tions on a land­slide are not wel­comed and our mar­shals and se­cu­rity will not hes­i­tate to act on those in­di­vid­u­als,” party sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule warned.

Ma­gashule said those who came with un­wel­come re­galia would be ad­mon­ished and “treated as en­e­mies”.

He is­sued the stern warn­ing dur­ing a press brief­ing about the party’s state of readi­ness and elec­tion man­i­festo to be de­liv­ered by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to thou­sands of party sup­port­ers and in­ter­na­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Ma­gashule said once the 85 000 ca­pac­ity sta­dium was full, other spec­ta­tors would watch the event from large TV screens to be mounted at two over­flow venues nearby.

“None of the mem­bers of the ANC must come to con­duct them­selves in a man­ner not be­fit­ting to con­fer­ence res­o­lu­tion of the ANC.

“In Nas­rec (party 2017 con­fer­ence) we had made it clear that we are work­ing to­ward the unity of the ANC.

“We need T-shirts that are not di­vi­sive and that do not pro­mote any fac­tion or in­di­vid­u­als and T-shirts that re­spect the ANC.”

He in­sisted, how­ever, that T-shirts bear­ing the faces of for­mer party pres­i­dents or those writ­ten “vote ANC” would be wel­comed as well as those of al­liance mem­bers, Cosatu, Sanco and the SACP.

Ma­gashule did not give a clear de­scrip­tion of what he termed “di­vi­sive T-shirts”. Be­fore and af­ter the Nas­rec con­fer­ence, mem­bers be­long­ing to cer­tain fac­tions within the party wore T-shirts with NDZ12 and CR17 to ex­press sup­port for Ramaphosa and party pres­i­den­tial can­di­date at the time, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Not only will the ANC keep a close eye on un­ruly mem­bers, but there Ma­gashule said there would also be sur­veil­lance of op­po­si­tion party mem­bers as they are “not wel­come” to the man­i­festo launch.

To­day’s pro­ceed­ings will be at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity. Other po­lit­i­cal par­ties from the con­ti­nent who will grace the event in­clude Swapo from Namibia and Zanu-PF from Zim­babwe.

Ma­gashule said for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki, who was in­vited along­side Ja­cob Zuma, in­di­cated he would not come due to prior en­gage­ments.

“Com­rade Thabo Mbeki has been en­gag­ing with the pres­i­dent through­out the year and I can tell you that their re­la­tions are okay and in good shape,” said Ma­gashule.

Ma­gashule also warned that firearms and other dan­ger­ous weapons would be pro­hib­ited in­side the sta­dium.

ANC sup­port­ers are seen among stat­ues of the party’s lead­ers that have been erected as part of the ANC Elec­tion man­i­festo launch in Dur­ban. | EPA-EFE/African News Agency (ANA) LUDBROOK KIM

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