Zuma: ANC will stay united

2007-12-12 00:00

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma told a gathering in the city yesterday that regardless of who emerges as the leader of the ANC, the party will remain united. He said that in the ANC it is not the individual that counts, but the collective.

Zuma was a guest at an event organised by members of the local legal fraternity, including magistrate Ashin Singh and attorney Naren Sangham.

Singh, like Zuma, has been engaged in a legal dispute with the National Prosecuting Authority. The gathering at the Golden Horse Casino was billed as a special convention of members of the KwaZulu-Natal legal fraternity.

“When we come back [from Polokwane] we will be united behind who ever is elected the ANC president … If the ANC elects someone with shortcomings, the ANC will deal with those shortcomings,” Zuma told the gathering.

Zuma also sought to deny that there are any divisions within the party, saying this is all part of a democratic process.

He was critical of the media, saying they are making too much of the contest between him and President Thabo Mbeki.

“Our friends in the media, instead of praising the ANC for being a dynamic organisation, criticise it.”

He said the ANC is a great organisation given its nature, history, thinking, politics and interpretation of democracy. The party’s deputy president went on to assure the gathering that there will be no ructions after Polokwane should he not emerge the winner.

He said that in an election there is a winner and a loser; if you enter the contest, you should expect either of the two outcomes. The ANC will accept that decision and unity will prevail. Come Polokwane, it will be the ANC in charge irrespective of who is elected the leader, he said.

Zuma hinted at his punishing schedule and having the flu, saying he was recovering from the virus before he went to India. Then he went to London and the United States. Somewhere between Texas and Los Angeles, he got the flu again.

He also assured the gathering that he received positive feedback from his overseas visits on the economy of the country. He was asked whether, if elected, he would change the country’s economic policies, and his answer was that the economic policy is set by the ANC and not by an individual.

He took the opportunity to tell the lawyers present that the law needs to be more proactive in protecting the poor, vulnerable and the victimised.

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