KwaZulu-Natal ANC Chairman Sihle Zikalala. Picture: TEBOGO LETSIE
Pietermaritzburg – KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala on Sunday said unity between the ANC and its alliance partners was of utmost importance.
Zikalala was speaking at the province’s manifesto launch at the Pietermaritzburg’s Harry Gwala stadium.
Zikalala said no organisation was better than the other in the partnership.
“Unity is the only tool that will help us win the elections,” said Zikalala
The alliance partnership in the province which has been plagued by killings, thought to be politically linked, has been fractured.
Tensions between the South African Communist Party played out last week when it emerged that the ANC had allegedly gone against the SACP’s wishes.
The SACP in the province recently threatened to pull out of the election campaign because it was not happy with the manner in which the candidate list process for the August 3 elections was being handled.
Premier Willies Mchunu reshuffled his cabinet last week on Monday announcing SACP provincial secretary, Themba Mthembu, as one of the new MEC’s.
It emerged later that the party apparently only told Mthembu about the announcement on Monday morning.
House in order
After consultations it was agreed that Mthembu would be allowed to take up the position of Agriculture MEC, but the acceptance came with conditions that the ANC would get its house in order.
During his address, Zikalala said with 54 days to go until the elections it was important to remember that all members of the ANC and the alliance were equal.
“The ANC is 104, and there have been challenges but unity is what has kept the ANC strong over the years. Unity in the ANC and the alliance is important.
“No one is better than the other, SANCO, Cosatu and SACP, we are all me members of the ANC, we are in the same alliance..."
“Unity is the only tool that we help us win. We are closing the chapter to having differences, if anyone thinks the ANC will differ with Cosatu or the SACP, that time has passed.”
He said the time for differences was passed.
“The ANC, SACP, Cosatu and SANCO will win this election through unity, which is the bedrock of the party…”
He said those who thought the relationship between the ANC and the alliance was over, thought.
He joined President Jacob Zuma and Cosatu president who both condemned the recent killings in the province, which appear to be politically linked.
“We have seen the killings of ANC comrades in kwaNongoma, Emalahleni, Msunduzi in ward 12 and 15… Nothing calls for someone to take another person’s life irrespective of what differences they have… These are criminal acts.”
He said a team had been dispatched in the Moses Mabhida region to help branches to work with the police.
He said the candidate registration process had been completed.
“It could be that there are those who are still unsatisfied, to them we say that internal discussions should remain within the ANC. Let us not burn schools and infrastructure, let us discuss the issues inside the ANC.”
He said nothing should make an ANC councillor leave the ANC and become an independent candidate because they did not get elected during the election process.
“If there are grievances, let us discuss them internally… You cannot be a member of the ANC and still be an independent councillor. If you want to be an independent candidate, know that you are out of the ANC.”
He said members who become independent expel themselves.
“Bring back the t-shirt and the membership of the ANC. Those who think they can go and then come back, we are sending a clear, polite and eloquent message, if you go and be independent, we will not accept people who leave thinking they can come back.”
He said those who were thinking of the ANC should reconsider.
Zikalala said the ANC should work on winning all municipalities in KZN.
“We are taking all municipalities and districts, they are going to under the ANC... We are not fighting with the NFP, we have been working well them in the past five years but our relationship has come to an end.
“We will take these municipalities,” he said.