Zuma urges unity

2012-04-07 13:08

ANC president Jacob Zuma urged for unity in the party, saying members should put the organisation’s interests before individuals.

Speaking at the Mpumalanga ANC provincial conference, which is seen as one of his strongholds ahead of the Mangaung elective conference, Zuma said every member should work towards unity in the party.

“Don’t in the ANC try to be a friend of gossipers, or people who move in cliques. Once you do so, you have destroyed yourself because the ANC has clear objective. Once you join a clique, you don’t sleep, and talk about other things other than national objectives, you’ve lost the way.”

Zuma also told the Mpumalanga conference that discussion of policy should come before the decision to elect individuals to implement those policies.

He said excitement with the names of leadership candidates was a problem that generally weakened the organisation.

He said discussions must come before decisions about leadership.

“You don’t start by getting excited about the name, because they may say this comrade I like...but he may not be the right person to implement the programmes.

“We might have started with the names, but you find that the comrade doesn’t have that capability. Then you have not done good service to the organisation.

Leadership must be determined by the needs of the organisation. You might find that the comrades who implemented the programme are still very fit to do so,” Zuma said.

He said a person who didn’t understand the ANC was likely to be left “in the middle of the ocean.”

Zuma also took a swipe at the ANC Youth League, saying the founding ANCYL was led by people with “processed minds” who never publicly criticised the mother-body.

The league’s suspended leader, Julius Malema, has publicly accused Zuma of being a dictator.

“(They) understood the task of the ANC Youth League, to bring new ideas into the ANC and knew how to do it,” he said.

He said the task of the league was to bring youth into the ANC, not to alienate it from the party.

“Leadership change was always informed by ANC processes, but when you shout that this is what the youth league wants, you’ve missed the boat,” he said.

Mpumalanga Premier and provincial ANC chairperson David Mabuiza described his first term as ANC provincial chairperson in 2008 as a “baptism of fire” due to a spate of service delivery protest that engulfed the province two months after he assumed office.

Delivering his political report at the Mpumalanga ANC elective conference, Mabuza said that he went to the strife-torn Thaba Chweu municipality in Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) and told the angry residents: “You’re giving me a baptism of fire.

I’m like a new-born child who has to be baptised and is put on fire.”

“Fortunately, we survived the fire and we’re still here,” Mabuza said.

The assertion was a veiled confirmation of his belief that service delivery protests in the province are orchestrated by his rivals to destabilise his administration.

The protests have been continuing in the province as communities complain about lack of water, electricity, roads and other services.

The department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) hired Abalozi Risk Advisory Services – a company in which former President Jacob Zuma parliamentary officer Simphiwe Nyanda had a stake – to investigate the protests, but its findings were never made public.

Mabuza said that hostile lobby groups continued to exist in the province even though he had declared what he called a “ceasefire.”

He said that he had tried to foster unity among the party members and its alliance partners, but Cosatu and the SACP continued to “insult” him on public platforms.

Cosatu and SACP have been calling on Mabuza to step down for failing to unite the organisation and curb endemic corruption in his government.

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