ANC NEC to discuss land, crime, racism - Mantashe

2017-03-24 22:19
ANC top 6. (Mahlatse Gallens, News 24)

ANC top 6. (Mahlatse Gallens, News 24)

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Johannesburg - Differences within the African National Congress about land redistribution and expropriation are expected to be discussed at the party's national executive committee three-day meeting in Irene, Pretoria.

The controversial issue would be top of the agenda, after President Jacob Zuma used his political overview to the meeting on Friday to raise it, secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters.

"There were quite a number of themes that came through, but three main ones are the question of land, the question of crime, and the question of racism and growing anger that is beginning to manifest all over the country," Mantashe said.

Since his State of the Nation Address in February, Zuma had called for a more radical approach to land redistribution. He called for the Constitution to be changed to allow for land to be expropriated without compensation.

Several senior ANC leaders, including Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize, and Mantashe had however said there was no need to change the Constitution.

Land policy

The governing party is under pressure after its current policy failed to fast-track land redistribution to blacks. The Economic Freedom Fighters had used this failure to win support.

"At this point the majority of land is in the hands of white South Africans. That is not an acceptable situation. We must ensure that land is distributed. Black South Africans must have access to land," Mantashe said.

The land furore is expected to come to a head at the party's policy conference in June. The views contained in the ANC's discussion policy documents are at odds with Zuma's views on expropriation without compensation.

In February, Zuma declared 2017 the year of "taking land back to the people".

According to a Mail & Guardian report, differences about land emerged at the ANC's national working committee meeting on Monday. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly suggested that special NEC meeting be held to discuss the matter.

Mantashe said the party would discuss the policy proposals and what needed to happen to accelerate the process.

The NEC would discuss the controversy about the ANC's newly-elected Nelson Mandela Bay chairperson Andile Lungisa, who has openly defied Mantashe by refusing to step down.

Lungisa, who is an ANC Eastern Cape executive committee member, contested and won the position of regional chair last weekend.

This was despite Mantashe writing to him beforehand and warning that the party's constitution did not allow a member occupying a senior position to stand for a lower position without first resigning.

Lungisa had referred the matter to the NEC and refused to resign until the ANC's national leadership had dealt with it.

Mantashe said the NEC would not be converted into a disciplinary committee. Smaller committees dealt with disciplinary issues, he said.

"It's not a Lungisa matter by the way, it's a principle issue. People in higher organs cannot stand for positions in lower organs. There is no Lungisa matter before NEC."

Social grants

The debacle about the payment of social grants would also be discussed, but it was not a major issue for the NEC.

"The social grants are being paid on April 1," he said.

The Constitutional Court had ruled on the matter and its decisions had to be implemented, he said.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was attending the meeting. She had already been hauled to the ANC's integrity commission over her department's failure to find an alternative service provider to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to pay grants.

The court, in its ruling last Friday, extended CPS's illegal contract with the SA Social Security Agency for 12 months. It instructed Dlamini to file affidavits explaining why she should not be held personally liable for the legal costs of the parties who brought the matter to court.

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede ­mantashe  |  politics

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