ANC slams public spats

2010-03-14 14:43

Johannesburg - Disciplinary action will be taken against any ANC leaders who engage in public spats, trading insults and personal attacks, party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday.

"The NEC noted with astonishment the disrespect shown by some leaders and structures of our movement to the decisions of the national executive committee (NEC), particularly relating to the succession debate to our 2012 national conference," Mantashe told a media briefing in Johannesburg, following a two-day meeting of the ruling party's leadership.

"The NEC took exception to the new culture of public spats, trading of insults and personalised attacks amongst its leaders.

"This action detracts from the historic mission of the ANC, its discipline, traditions and protocols."

Mantashe said the practice was "alien" to the ANC and needed to be "nipped in the bud". He said it could be caused by these members' lack of political understanding.

Trading insults

Members of the alliance and the ANC have been trading insults in recent weeks.

A fallout between ANC alliance partner Cosatu and the party resulted in the union federation's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi being publicly vilified by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema.

Mantashe reiterated the ANC's position on lifestyle audits, saying the SA Revenue Service was responsible for conducting these.

"There can be no instruments specifically designed for ANC leaders and public representatives to the exclusion of leaders of all formations in society, including opposition parties and the private sector."

Cosatu has repeatedly called for lifestyle audits. Both President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe have said there was no need for them.

Mantashe said tools used in the fight against corruption must never be used "selectively", as this could degenerate into "using state interests for factional interests". Tools already in the hands of the state had to be used responsibly.

Mantashe said it was necessary to be "decisive" against using the tender system to give business to individuals "in ways that create the perception that there's favouritism or corruption in the process".

Mantashe's comments come against the background of an uproar over tenders given to a company reportedly under the directorship of Malema.