ANC bigwigs in China ‘to learn’

2011-10-08 18:30

City Press reveals today how ANC leaders secretly travelled to China this week in the middle of the furore about the Dalai Lama’s visa.

While a storm was raging about the government’s reluctance to allow the Tibetan spiritual leader into South Africa, a high-level ANC delegation visited China to learn “political lessons”.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, high-ranking official Jessie Duarte, deputy economic development minister Enoch Godongwana and other ANC bigwigs spent the week in China to see how the Chinese run their country and their party.

The trip is part of an exchange programme between the ANC and the Chinese Communist Party, through which groups comprising ANC national executive committee members visit China to experience the “Chinese way of doing things” – as a previous report puts it.

On the visits, the national executive committee members are taken to different parts of China, where they are shown Chinese government projects and introduced to the Chinese governance system.

“It is about understanding the political system and how to take lessons from the Chinese on governance issues,” an ANC source briefed on the matter said.

ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile said the Chinese governing party had offered to “teach the ANC about politics.

China has a very elaborate political education. They teach the theory of politics, on how to ­approach developmental society. This is a very positive thing,” Mashatile said.

South Africa succumbed to Chinese pressure last year by not sending a high-level delegation to Norway to attend the awarding of the Nobel peace prize to jailed activist Liu Xiaobo.

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