ANC shuts door on stalwarts

2017-06-18 06:01
Gwede Mantashe (Picture: AFP)

Gwede Mantashe (Picture: AFP)

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The ANC intends to proceed with the planned consultative conference scheduled as part of the extended national policy conference later this month even without the party’s disgruntled stalwarts and veterans.

The governing party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, told City Press this week that the extended national policy conference, including a consultative conference, will go on as planned and that, in fact, the time to plead with the elders to reconsider their decision to boycott the event was up.

Mantashe said delegates will use the two days that were allocated to the consultative conference to “discuss the health of the ANC”.

“We have been persuading them for a long time so we would not do it again,” he said.

The elders, who have called for President Jacob Zuma to step down, had tried for months to convince the ANC to instead convene a consultative conference to deal with the crisis in the ANC – one which was separate from the policy conference and extended beyond branch delegates, who were effectively part to the problems in the ANC.

They wanted an inclusive conference, open to civil society including the churches.

Spokesperson for the group of 101 stalwarts and apartheid activists Mpho Mosimane said the ANC’s rejection of that proposal left them with no choice but to abandon the conference.

The stalwarts would, however, attend as members of the ANC if delegated by their branches.

“We have argued with them and said why not convert the conference into a consultative one and use the two days for policy discussion at the elective conference in December.

But that was rejected on the basis that, constitutionally, there had to be a policy conference convened.

“But those are based on interpretation. We have communicated that we are not going to be part of those two days because we don’t believe they will achieve anything. It is up to the ANC to still consider a separate inclusive conference,” he said.

“You can’t bring in the same structures to say these structures must deal with their own diagnosis and medicate.

"We wanted to bring in other people broader than the ANC structures, people who may not be active but are leaders of society including the churches to be part of this whole thing. From a pure composition point of view, it won’t work.”

Mosimane said there was no crisis when it came to ANC policies and that the policy workshop at the end of the month was not that crucial and should have, in fact, been converted.

“The policies of the ANC are sound, more progressive than any – even the opposition is moving towards the policies of the ANC. So from the policy perspective, there is no urgency.

“The urgency is to deal with the animal that is the ANC, its character. So you can be able to sacrifice the policy workshop and focus on fixing the ANC.

"If they were serious about that they would do it,” added Mosimane.

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Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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