ANC not budging on combined policy, consultative conferences

2017-02-28 13:48
Wally Serote (Netwerk24)

Wally Serote (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The African National Congress has refused to agree to calls from its stalwarts to separate the national consultative conference (NCC) from its policy conference in June, one of the party’s veterans said on Tuesday.

“There is a disagreement on the interpretation of the NCC and how we want it,” party stalwart and writer Wally Serote said.

The two groups, and the Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) council, met on Monday to discuss plans for the NCC and policy conference.

“It did not go well,” Serote said of the meeting.

The stalwarts and the MK council wanted the two conferences separated. They believed more time was needed to deal with challenges facing the party. The ANC’s national executive council had refused to accede to the request.

Serote said the more than 100 veterans felt their suggestion would allow the party to acknowledge the crisis it found itself in and see how it deviated from its policies.

ANC policy deviation

He said there had been deviation from ANC policies since 1997, while the party was still under the leadership of former president Nelson Mandela. Serote said even the iconic leader raised concerns over the calibre of people in the movement.

Quoting Mandela, Serote said: “How do we ensure everyone who integrates into the ANC is well-versed in the traditions, culture and principles of the ANC? As a result all sorts of people came into the ANC and that’s where all the problems began for the party.”

The veterans, who had hoped for a NCC in March, believed there was still time to host the consultative conference and push back the policy conference, as timeframes were not cast in stone.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said it was practically impossible to host the NCC in March.

The party’s national executive committee had decided to set aside two days of the policy conference to hold the NCC, he said.

Talks were continuing with several interested parties, including the veterans and the MK council. Kodwa said they had agreed on a three-a-side delegation that would prepare content for the NCC.

“They must also be part of the political life of the ANC,” Kodwa said of the veterans.

He said previously it was decided that the stalwarts should participate in party activity, but that this had not happened as yet.

“As we go to structures and visit branches they must join us,” he said.

Kodwa did not appear to agree with Serote that talks did not go well. He said the group had agreed to participate in the preparatory work ahead of the June conferences.

Read more on:    anc  |  politics

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