ANC looks to first-time voters, minority groups for elections

2013-07-06 09:28

Utterances suggesting the ANC had drifted from the values of the Freedom Charter were untrue, provincial chairman Paul Mashatile has said.

“We must dismiss those who make the false and unfounded assertion that as the ANC we have drifted away from the vision articulated in the Freedom Charter. We have never done so,” said Mashatile.

He was speaking at the Gauteng annual provincial general council (PGC) in Pretoria last night.

With regards to the 2014 elections, Mashatile said apart from retaining its traditional political strongholds, the ANC would make inroads amongst first-time voters and minority groups.

“This provincial general council is about strengthening our movement for the 2014 general election. Out of this PGC, we must emerge more determined and sure that the ANC wins the 2014 elections with an overwhelming victory.”

“We should take time to explain to our people that the South Africa, in our case the Gauteng, of today is a far better place to live in than it was before 1994. Our democracy and its institutions are still intact, he said.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said lawlessness related to industrial disputes should be adequately dealt with.

Mantashe told delegates incidents of anarchy in South Africa influence the world’s perception about the country.

“Are we allowing the collapse of collective bargaining and (letting) anarchy take over? What the world sees is Marikana, De Doorns, Satawu (South African Transport and Allied Workers Union) strikes and every strike accompanied with violence,” he said.

“What will be a permanent intervention will be a comprehensive framework for collective bargaining and less tolerance for anarchy. The State must deal with anarchy.”

Mantashe said opponents of the ANC have been agitating for discontent in the country.

“Where our opponents have nothing to offer, all they do is to attack this and that,” he said.

Mantashe called for discipline to be enforced among all structures of the ANC.

“We have the responsibility to build the future. We have to enforce discipline in the movement, we cannot inherit it. We should be encouraged with the growth of our membership.”

All speakers at the event paid tribute to ailing former president Nelson Mandela.

ANC Gauteng deputy chairwoman Gwen Ramokgopa said the three-day event was dedicated to Mandela.

“We are claiming him as one of our own,” she said.

“We want to acknowledge him as a comrade who not only stood for the ANC as a servant of the people of South Africa; he [also] stood for values of human rights and justice universally.”

The delegates, dressed in white T-shirts bearing Mandela’s image and the words Long live Nelson Mandela, sang numerous struggle songs dedicated to the anti-apartheid icon.

Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

Throngs of well wishers, senior politicians and family members have visited the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital since then.

Many have left tributes, flowers, cards, banners and posters for him at a wall outside the hospital.

On Thursday night, the presidency denied claims that Mandela was in a vegetative state.

“We confirm our earlier statement released this [Thursday] afternoon after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital that Madiba remains in a critical but stable condition,” said spokesman Mac Maharaj.

“The doctors deny that the former president is in a vegetative state,” he said.

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