Fight ANC and face the wrath of the ancestors: Zuma
Sabelo Skiti, City Press
East London - ANC president Jacob Zuma warned party members in the Eastern Cape not to let themselves be influenced by money and other members, to rise against leadership or risk the wrath of the ancestors.
Zuma addressed delegates at the province’s general council at the University of Fort Hare in Alice, where members take stock of the state of the organisation.
The council, which ends today, is attended by 1 353 delegates from the province’s 715 branches.
He addressed delegates on Thursday after they had deliberated on reports from chairperson Phumulo Masualle, secretary Lubabalo Mabuyane and treasurer Thandiswa Marawu.
Masualle and Mabuyane’s reports had painted a picture of a provincial leadership making slow inroads against debilitating instability, violence and ill-discipline in the party’s lower structures.
The run-up to the event was marred by acts of violence at a branch in KwaDosi village, where members, fighting over election of delegates to the province’s general council, beat, stabbed and shot each other last Sunday.
Not only had this death of politics and the infighting at branch level affected service delivery in the province, it was threatening the viability of branches in good standing ahead of next year’s national elective conference, where numbers play a major role.
The Eastern Cape, believed to still support a second term for Zuma and secretary general Gwede Mantashe, is the second-biggest province nationally in the ANC in terms of members.
The two are threatened by the ANC Youth League, led by suspended president Julius Malema, who want a change of national leadership.
Zuma urged members to unite, warning them that a negative posture to the ANC would result in great misfortune.
Death will come
“If you quarrel with the ANC, you have a problem because the ancestors turn their back on you,” Zuma said to applause from the crowd.
“You will die a political natural death ... And that’s why no matter how you feel, don’t fight the ANC. No matter how long it takes, your death will come. And you know how it is with natural death, some will go in middle age, some a little later in life, and others die very young,” he added to even more applause and laughter from delegates.
Zuma also urged members not to allow themselves to be pulled into divisive camps that meet in the “wilderness”, saying they must “not be members of other members”.
“Money is the root of all evil. You must not allow money to destroy this organisation,” Zuma said, adding members should be exemplary at all times because all eyes are on the ruling party.
However, he also commended the delegates, saying they were more unified now than he had seen at the 2009 elective conference at Riverpark in East London.
“There are few provinces that when they are right, the entire ANC is right. But if there are some things that are wrong, it looks like the entire ANC has things wrong. The Eastern Cape is one of them,” he said.
In a brutal political report on Tuesday, Masualle traced the divisions in the province back to this conference, as well the 2007 Polokwane national conference. These divisions, he added, had posed a huge stumbling block to development.
Projects affected by infighting included the Umzimvubu Water Dam Development and the Mthombo Oil Refinery Project at the Port of Ngqura (Coega), which could both create much-needed jobs.
Echoing Zuma’s sentiment on the province’s importance to the ANC, Masualle said the current members betrayed the province’s “rich legacy of struggle” as well as those who helped create it.
“We learnt very harshly that where there is political instability and infighting, the important task of transforming society, making better the lives for our people, is postponed indefinitely,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mabuyane in his report highlighted the following problems:
» Bought membership;
» Lack of political schooling;
» Disagreement among members in structures often turning violent; and
» Members aspiring to lead in the party to open up access to state tenders.
Mabuyane’s report was rejected by almost half the conference, and was sent to commissions to discuss and resolve.
- City Press