Don’t suppress or expel dissent, engage it – ANC

2016-09-14 10:10
Zizi Kodwa (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Zizi Kodwa (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – It’s more valuable to engage with angry members of the ANC than to expel them, national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said on Wednesday.

“Politically the way to deal with dissent is not to suppress or expel, because you don’t know how deeply it’s rooted within the organisation,” he said after Tuesday´s meeting with party members who tried to occupy party headquarters Luthuli House.

They were calling for President Jacob Zuma and his national executive to step down following the party's poor performance in the August 3 local government elections.

“The best, mature way to address dissent is through engagement, engage it and defeat dissent politically,” Kodwa told News24 in a telephonic interview.

On Tuesday, Kodwa and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe met five of the occupy Luthuli House organisers to discuss issues raised in the memorandum they handed to the organisation.

The group said members of the ANC Youth League and Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association intimidated and threatened them during their protest last Monday.

Kodwa said the meeting was part of the NEC’s work of talking with various groups about the party's future.

“All of us are concerned about the performance of the organisation in the last election. While we don’t encourage people raising issues outside of structures, we appreciate the difficulties that we have with gatekeeping, people not being able to raise issues within the organisational structures,” he said.

The meeting was inspired by a common desire to find a solution.  He described it as productive, cordial, and candid.

“We were able to listen to them on what they think is the way forward. These are people who are members of the organisation, they are branch leaders, secretaries, they are branch members.”

Disciplining or expelling them was never considered because that only applied to those considered incorrigible.

The meeting gave both sides the opportunity to understand one another’s perspective.

“The good thing about these engagements is you are able to correct one another.”

The two parties agreed to have a second meeting, due to the number of issues that still needed to be discussed.

Read more on:    anc  |  luthuli house  |  zizi kodwa  |  johannesburg

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