ANCWL: We will drag our male folk, kicking and screaming, to equality

2015-08-06 14:46
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

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The ANC Women’s League’s national elective conference started with some uncertainty over whether President Jacob Zuma would be able to present the keynote address just before midday as it had been scheduled. 

It later emerged that Zuma would first attend the question and answer session in Parliament, scheduled for 2pm, before coming to the women’s league event. 

The highlight of the conference was expected to be the leadership contest between the league’s president, Angie Motshekga – who is also basic education minister – and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. 

Zuma was seen to favour Dlamini. 

Also, the league was expected to take a firm position on the campaign for a woman to lead the ANC at the upcoming 2017 national elective conference, where Zuma is expected to step down. 

As delegates arrived in the morning, groups could be heard singing songs in favour of their preferred candidate. 

However, outgoing league treasurer-general Hlengiwe Mkhize later warned the delegates during the opening session that “divisive songs and signs were banned”. 

Mkhize also warned delegates that there would be “no shouting [and] howling, hissing, whistling or booing of speakers”. 

The league’s Gauteng chairperson Pat Choeu, also an MP, said women need to be “conscientised to understand that they must fight for other women’s rights”. Choeu said society was waiting for women in the league to lead them. 

“We will not wait to be liberated by our male folk. We will drag our male folk, kicking and screaming, to equality,” she said. 

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the delegates had “a right to lobby and elect any leader, but not the right to divide yourselves”. 

Mantashe said he had seen signs that were divisive and pleaded with the delegates: “Please stop ... You do not need to behave like that in public.” 

He said the chaos in Parliament was an indication of an offensive against the ANC-led movement and members being divided was “a luxury we cannot afford”. 

He said Zuma would “get on the plane” and fly up to Johannesburg as soon as he was done in Parliament.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  angie motshekga

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