ANC MK council demands urgent consultative conference

2017-04-13 14:37
General Siphiwe Nyanda. (Tebogo Letsie, file)

General Siphiwe Nyanda. (Tebogo Letsie, file)

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Johannesburg - The ANC's Umkhonto we Sizwe national council wants the party's June policy conference canned and replaced with an urgent national consultative conference.

This would be the only way to "arrest the further downward spiral of the ANC" following President Jacob Zuma's late night Cabinet reshuffle on March 30, the council said on Thursday. It is led by former MK generals.

Former chief of the SANDF, General Siphiwe Nyanda, said differences over the Cabinet reshuffle within the ANC's top six and the country's debt being downgraded to junk status had made the "deepening crisis within the ANC even more stuck".

"We find the unprecedented ructions within the topmost echelons of the organisation, around the recent Cabinet reshuffle, most regrettable and debilitating in the extreme."

The African National Congress had agreed to hold a national consultative conference (NCC), but said it would be part of the June policy conference. The council and a group of over 100 ANC veterans had rejected the decision to combine the two.

Proposals

The council said the party had to find a date for an NCC without delay, finalise proposals about who could participate, and canvass members about an agenda.

"We are giving the leadership of the ANC a chance to reconsider and recognise that the ANC's problems can be solved by sitting together with its veterans and all the people who love the party, to resolve problems that bedevil the organisation," Nyanda said.

Deputy justice minister and council member Thabang Makwetla said they proposed that former NEC members and other leaders should be part of the conference.

"Those benefiting from the wrong practices that are there in the organisation are not going to give up the fight. That is why we are not going to back down on this demand for an NCC.

"We have a clear sense of where the resistance is coming from. Let those forces against the attempts to rectify what is wrong with the organisation come out to the open and be exposed."

Makwetla said the policy conference could be held after the NCC because the ANC was not in trouble because of its policies.

"What is making the ANC wobble is the state of the organisation - its political positioning - which is generating a lot of disaffection within the traditional support base of the ANC," Makwetla said.

Talks deadlock

Nyanda said President Jacob Zuma's impact on the future of the ANC would have to be discussed.

The council was formed in 2016 by former MK commissars concerned with the political direction of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, led by Kebby Maphatsoe.

Nyanda said talks with the MKMVA had reached a deadlock and he would appeal to the ANC to intervene.

They MKMVA was due to hold a joint elective conference in May, but there was disagreement about the delegates.

The MKMVA wanted delegates to be chosen from within its structures, while the MK council said they should be from former MK detachments.

"MKMVA wants to play numbers game and bring all these young people in uniform we don't know and to swamp conference with people not genuine MK members, to preserve their positions," Nyanda said.

The council criticised those MKMVA members who "defended" ANC headquarters Luthuli House during a Democratic Alliance protest against Zuma last week. They were "tropical camouflage MK".

The MK council steering committee said some were too young to have belonged to the party's former military wing.

Read more on:    anc  |  mkmva  |  siphiwe nyanda  |  politics

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