Don’t sell or buy votes – Sisulu

2017-07-23 06:04

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ANC national executive committee member Lindiwe Sisulu pulled no punches on Saturday, declaring she was ready to fight to reclaim the ANC.

Sisulu launched her campaign in Kliptown in Soweto, which she described as “sacred” and “hallowed” ground, a week after breaking her silence and pronouncing her availability to serve as ANC president if elected by party branches in December.

The iconic Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown played host to the Congress of the People gathering in 1955 when the Freedom Charter was adopted.

Ahead of the event in Kliptown, Sisulu told City Press that she wanted people to know what she was about.

“It would be arrogant to call it a manifesto but I have worked out in the speech what it is that I would like them to understand about me. The return of the values of the ANC, that is fundamental.

“The ANC has a very proud history and it managed to galvanise not only South Africa, but Africa and the world because it had a reputation. It was around the quality of the organisation and what it stood for as well as of the leaders it had. If we restore that heritage back to the ANC, I think we will solve most of the problems that we have,” she said.

Sisulu formally accepted the nomination for the top job at an event in East London last week but she has quietly been on the campaign trail, entertaining invitations from branches considering her for the top position when the ANC heads to its elective conference in December.

While Sisulu has aimed high, there has been talk of her being deputy president on the Cyril Ramaphosa slate. Both their campaigns promise to restore the ANC of old as well as tackle corruption.

When asked what her plan was to rid the ANC of the perception that it is corrupt, Sisulu reiterated the call for an internal disciplinary process.

“I have been calling for an ANC disciplinary process around this matter of the Guptas. From that I find that if they are indeed guilty and are maliciously looting and subverting the character of the ANC and undermining the integrity of the ANC, I would say those people should face the final wrath of the ANC.

“The ANC is a very old organisation, we have been through some things like this before. Chris Hani was expelled from the ANC and after a while, after the organisation felt that he had sufficiently atoned for his misdemeanour, he was bought back. So nobody is above the law within the ANC and a great deal of it also depends on your approach on how to make amends,” she said.

“I am still very jittery about the fact that nothing has been done about the leaks that continue and every day they damage the ANC even further. I am not a medical doctor but I do know that when you have a boil, the first thing you do is to lance it, to squeeze out the poison and in that way only then can the body recover. If you keep it, it grows and you get gangrene and you have to cut off your leg. I am very agitated about the fact that we’re doing nothing, we’re just dithering.”

The colourful setting for the event – with a stage in the middle of the room, teleprompters, big screens and banners – seemed designed for good television.

At one point she had the often-animated crowd listening attentively.

“Let us walk together to ensure that we have the South Africa that we dream of in the Freedom Charter,” Sisulu told the hundreds of ANC supporters clad in T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase: “It’s a must.”

She decried some of the ills currently facing the ANC including corruption, arrogance and vote-buying.

Sisulu said the ANC was not for sale.

“For heaven’s sake, do not let anyone buy your vote and do not buy anyone’s vote.”

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