ANC must address ‘alien tendencies’ – Zuma

2012-10-13 07:18

President Jacob Zuma says history will judge the current leadership of the ANC harshly if it did not urgently address problems like “factionalism” and “jockeying for positions” within the party.

Speaking at the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) elective national conference in Boksburg yesterday, Zuma also listed problems such as a lack of discipline and the “bulk buying of membership” as some of the “alien tendencies” that were slowly creeping into the party.

He said the leadership had spent the past five years, since it was elected in Polokwane in 2007, for unity and the renewal of the organisation to restore its values.

The MKMVA leadership is set to nominate the leaders it wants to be elected to lead the ANC in Mangaung in December, and the announcement is expected tomorrow.

However, it has already indicated that it backs Zuma.

He warned the veterans to beware of the “enemy within” which he described as “snakes”.

“... At all times you should exercise discipline, I don’t think you should allow our organisation to be destroyed in front of our own eyes,” Zuma said.

Before Zuma took to the podium, MKMVA secretary Ayanda Dlodlo sang Zuma’s praises, saying that he had never solicited support from the military veterans.

The conference burst into song saying those who did not want Zuma should back off.

The ANC president is tipped to face off against his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, in Mangaung, but party branches’ leadership preferences will only be clear towards the end of next month.

Although he steered clear of Mangaung, Zuma told the conference that the ANC’s revolution needed “the right driver conducting” and “the direction to be right” in order for it to sustain itself.

He said the ANC continued to thrive despite attacks, saying its membership had grown since Polokwane.

“This is in the face of continuous attacks and propaganda painting the ANC as one of the most bad (sic) organisations on the continent. Those discussions are at the level of the elite in the main, not among the people. The people think differently about their own organisation,” he said.

He defended the performance of the ANC in office, saying there was an attempt to portray its service delivery record as a failure.

“Indeed, even the most sceptical and cynical can attest to the fact that the ANC-led government has over the past 18 years made significant political, social and economic strides towards building a better life for all.

“Our social and economic policies and programmes are indeed making a dent on the legacies of poverty and underdevelopment that we inherited from centuries of colonial and apartheid rule,” he said.

Zuma said one of the outstanding achievements of his administration was the establishment of the department of military veterans, for which he said Cabinet had approved R1.6 billion over the medium term (about three years) to pay for the healthcare of 16 000 veterans, pensions for 15 000 veterans and housing for 7 000 veterans in 2014 and 2015.

“We want to make sure that when the benefits which are due to military veterans are rolled out, which we want to make sure happens soon, no one is left out,” Zuma said.

He said the funding of veterans was not purely for welfare, but was crucial to sustaining political stability.

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