Zizi Kodwa: Infighting will show a party at war with itself

2013-10-13 06:00

Political infighting in parts of the Eastern Cape make the ANC look like a party at war with itself, says President Jacob Zuma’s former spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

Kodwa has the unenviable task of trying to stabilise the province after being appointed convener of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) deployees in the Eastern Cape.

The NEC announced two weeks ago that Kodwa would be in charge of its deployees in the hotly contested province, the second largest in the country for the ANC after KwaZulu-Natal in terms of membership. He replaces Derek Hanekom, who now holds the same position in the Western Cape.

“Leadership is not in positions. You must respect those people who have elected you to that position. It comes down to appreciating what the ANC is all about.

“I am very humbled by this appointment and hope to live up to the aspirations of those who put their trust in me,” Kodwa told City Press this week.

He knows the Eastern Cape well – he was born in the small rural town of Willowvale, though he grew up in Cape Town.

That knowledge may come in handy as he settles into his new role.

“We are going to work hard to bring stability in this province. Our primary focus is on service delivery and to make sure that municipalities are stabilised because they are at the first level of service delivery,” he said.

He said the political infighting and differences that have plagued the party in certain areas of the province, like Nelson Mandela Bay, the OR Tambo region and other municipalities were hurting the image of the ANC.

Such behaviour, he said, reflected at organisation at war with itself.

“All these differences are undesirable. They come back to haunt the ANC. We cannot allow that to continue.”

He said in order for municipalities to work better they needed to focus on service delivery and stop infighting, because that compromised their core function.

Kodwa’s got his sights set on dealing with the problem from the top down, leadership wise: he believes municipal managers must be appointed because they are the right people for their jobs, not because of their political affiliation.

His appointment comes a few months after the ANC placed another Eastern Cape leader in an influential party position – former provincial chairperson Stone Sizani is now the ANC’s powerful chief whip in Parliament.

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