Some members enriching themselves - Motlanthe
Polokwane - The ANC is struggling to develop "cadres" who put the interests of the people first, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Saturday.
To deal with this problem of "cadres feathering their own nests”, Motlanthe said he wanted party branches to prioritise discipline and political education.
“Most of the challenges facing the organisation stem from the rapid growth of the organisation; with no attendant effort to educate members and leaders about the minimum expectations that come with the responsibility of being a member or a leader of the ANC,” he told delegates at the start of the ANC's elective congress in Limpopo.
Motlanthe said it was only through discipline and political education that "we can safeguard the values, culture and traditions that have earned [us] the trust of South Africans who've constantly voted [the ANC] into power".
Motlanthe emphasised the importance of unity within the ANC, saying members should manage their differences and rise above them.
“We cannot hate each other as the ANC members and still hope to love the people of South Africa. Love for each other is a precondition for the love we have for society,” he said.
He lamented the need for modern iconic heroes, saying "the ANC cannot bask in the glory of its history forever".
Motlanthe earlier warned delegates against voting according to factions.
“The emergence of slates within our organisational culture and the processes represent the worst form of corruption of the spirit, character and vision of the organisation," he said.
"The time has come for all of us in the ANC to condemn the slate culture to the dustbin of history."
ANC Limpopo chair and premier, Cassel Mathale, is battling it out at the conference against Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Joe Phaahla to retain his position.
Early indications are that Mathale allegedly has the most number of supporters at the conference. Mathale backers apparently include the provincial ANC Youth League, the women's league and the Peter Mokaba and Vhembe regions.
The Sekhuhune and Mopani regions want Phaahla to take over from Mathale - whose chances in retaining his position might have been threatened by the recent placing of some provincial department under administration by President Jacob Zuma.
Unity and discipline
Motlanthe warned that the leaders chosen during this conference would immediately have to get to work at instilling a sense of unity and discipline in the party structures.
Motlanthe, who sternly instructed howling delegates not to interrupt him while he was speaking, challenged the conference to determine what roles the party could allocate those members who had selflessly served it, but now could no longer do so because they were on the wrong slate.
Zuma was initially expected to address the delegates. However, the ANC has since replaced him with Motlanthe.
This was reportedly to save him embarrassment after it was learnt that delegates loyal to Mathale, were unhappy with him and had planned to boo him, especially after his decision to put five of Limpopo's departments under administration.
This was evident on Saturday when delegates gave a roaring "viva" for Motlanthe and a subdued one for Zuma.
Mathale supporters were confident that he would come out victorious, saying proceedings on Saturday were just a formality. Phaahla supporters also felt that their leader would come out victorious.
Results of the vote are expected on Sunday morning.