ANC debates alliance criticism

2009-09-18 14:21

Johannesburg - Criticism of Cabinet ministers by alliance partners will top the agenda of a meeting of the ANC's national executive committee on Friday, the SABC reported.

The ruling party's top brass were gathered in Esselen Park, east of Johannesburg, for a three-day meeting.

This was after its alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), warned that Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, was accumulating too much power.

Manuel, who is in charge of the national planning commission, recently released a green paper on strategic planning.

'Imperial' prime minister

Cosatu said if the former finance minister's plans were acted on, he would become the country's de facto "imperial" prime minister.

The SA Communist Party and Cosatu in June lambasted Manuel for suggesting that trade unions were exacerbating the global economic crisis by going on strike.

The Mail & Guardian on Friday quoted Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini as saying that Manuel was the last "hope" for the revival of the group described as the 1996 "class project", or former president Thabo Mbeki's supporters.

He told the newspaper Manuel was using the planning commission to position himself as "second in charge".


"He wants to be seen again as this super-minister and every minister should go to him, bow his head and say, 'Please, Mr Manuel, can we have this?' " said Dlamini.

The ANC on Thursday backed Manuel after the labour federation's criticism.

The party said "principles rather than individual personalities" should be debated.

The NEC meeting was also expected to discuss the SABC board and President Jacob Zuma's input to Cosatu's national congress, which kicks off on Monday.