Calm Zuma dismisses tensions

2010-09-04 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma was calm and collected last night as he delivered a keynote address at the opening of the three-day KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial general council (PGC) in Durban, ahead of the nagional general council (NGC) scheduled for KZN late this month.

About 1 000 delegates, international diplomats, business leaders and members of the alliance gathered at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban for the start of the three-day gathering.

In a clear reference to reports that there are elements within the organisation and the alliance who plan to unseat him, Zuma said the PGC is taking place a t a crucial time “with elements outside our organisation saying many things and predicting that elamanqamu [it’s going to be a decisive day] at our coming NGC”.

He criticised members of the alliance who publicly criticise other alliance member organisations and called for a high level of discipline among members.

“You cannot say that because today I am in the ANC I have freedom to talk bad about the SACP and when you are in the SACP you have freedom to talk bad about the ANC. We must exercise a high level of political and organisational discipline, otherwise we are playing.

“That is what made this organisation to be where it is today; particularly as the leader of the alliance … ANC principles are critical to anyone of us.

“We must never lose sight regarding the need for us to be loyal to the organisation regardless of the challenges we face …” Zuma said.

He condemned rumours and reports insinuating that the ANC, Cosatu and SACP tripartite alliance is on the brink of a split following recent public spats and disagreements over crucial issues.

“I don’t know how many times I have read obituaries written about the alliance … with people saying it’s dead, it’s no longer there, it must die.

“The alliance was formed in the struggle because we share a vision. It will remain robust and relevant forever …

“When we differ, we differ openly and some people think we are murdering one another, whereas we are just sparring [siyangcweka] …”

Zuma said the alliance must be handled with care.

He encouraged the alliance groupings to make a contribution to the government in its endeavour to improve lives of the people and to ensure delivery of services.

His address was noteworthy for its lack of references to the ongoing public servants’ strike.

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