Modise questions leadership

2012-12-20 00:00

NORTH West Premier Thandi Modise has hit out at the ANC’s newly elected top six, telling disgruntled Kgalema Motlanthe supporters: “We have to be the custodians of the moral fibre of the ANC.”

Modise, who lost outright to incumbent Baleka Mbete for the position of ANC chairperson on Tuesday, vented her frustration during an event held at the Naval Hill Lodge later that day.

More than 1 000 people gathered for the event, nodding and applauding as Modise stated that although they had to respect the party’s new leadership, they should not follow “sheepishly”.

Taking a dig at Zuma, she asked how a leader could use state funds to further his own interests while many South Africans lived in poverty.”

You cannot fail to serve the poor with state money and still call yourself a leader.

“Having ‘ticks’ to your checklist and being voted [in] overnight does not mean you are an accountable leader,” she said.

Modise spoke of the “disappointment” those assembled in the hall felt, and many in the audience nodded in agreement.

But she encouraged the audience, saying: “We are wounded comrades, but we shall continue fighting.”

Modise questioned the integrity of those who voted for Zuma instead of considering the party’s survival.

“Comrades no longer serve the party, comrades now serve individuals.”

She also applauded Motlanthe’s leadership skills, describing him as a man of humility and integrity.

Delegates — perhaps emboldened by recent court battles involving party members from the Free State and North West — said they were considering taking their grievances to the courts.

“We have exhausted internal processes; now it’s time for the courts to intervene,” said one.

Modise, who has reportedly fallen out of favour with her provincial executive committee, faces an uncertain future as the newly elected top six allegedly want to oust her once the Mangaung business is settled.

She also declined nomination to the party’s national executive committee on Tuesday, which means that if she is axed as premier, her career with the party is effectively over.

She has been a senior member of the ANC for years, serving as the women’s league deputy president between 1994 and 2004; chairing Parliament’s portfolio committee on defence between 1998 and 2004; and in 2007 becoming ANC deputy secretary-general.

She was appointed North West premier in November 2010.

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