Beware the snakes among us – Zuma

2012-07-13 11:18

President Jacob Zuma has warned against snakes in the ANC and its alliance, saying the poisonous ones should be kept “at arm’s length”.

At the same time he couldn’t resist making fun of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, who “once upon a time” said “they are now replacing the party”.

Malema last year said the youth league was becoming the vanguard of the workers as the SACP had failed them.

Addressing SACP delegates during the second day of their congress at the University of Zululand in KwaDlangezwa near Richards Bay this morning, Zuma warned against “new tendencies” in the alliance, saying these should be analysed and understood.

“You know you can live with a snake, but you must know whether it has teeth or it doesn’t, whether it is poisonous or not.

“If it is not poisonous, no fangs, you can play around with it. If it is poisonous and has fangs, you must learn how to live with it. Keep it at arm’s length. But understand what type of a snake, is it dangerous or not?”

Zuma used a dead snake metaphor before to refer to the defeat of former president Thabo Mbeki.

He also urged SACP members to become analysts themselves, and asked them why they were never seen on television analysing society.

“But you allow other people to continue winning the hearts and minds of other people even by painting all of us black when we are not black,” he said.

Political education was important, he said, otherwise people would be misled. “They will be given money and do what the giver has instructed them to do,” he said.

“But if they are politically clear they will not take the money, they will eat it and still be clear what you want them to do. Because the fact that we complain that people are bought is because we have not politicised them.”

Zuma also praised the SACP, saying the party was an important ally of the ANC in attaining the society the governing party wants.
He emphasised unity, which he said was now more important than during apartheid.

“No one else is going to defend this revolution. No bright person can do it, there are many clever people, who were not clever enough but couldn’t defend revolutions because they were not united; they were not organised,” he said.

He also encouraged the SACP to take part in the ANC’s policy debates and think of ideas how poverty, unemployment and inequality could be alleviated.

Earlier Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told the gathering that the ANC alliance did not lack ideas, but the political will to do something about the challenges that faced the country.

“Our track record in doing anything about the identified weaknesses leaves much to be desired,” he said.

“We lack political will to implement our own decisions, in particular when those decisions are against powerful interests in the organisation.”
He also said no economic transformation was possible unless there was unity in the alliance.

The ANC at its policy conference said there was need for economic transformation to be speeded up as the country entered “the second phases of the transition”.

Vavi also explained that Cosatu and the SACP had ironed out differences between them internally about SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande being both a minister and party official.

He urged the party to meet with metalworkers’ union Numsa soon to talk about the differences between them on this matter.
Nzimande yesterday lashed out at Numsa over this.

Elections for leadership positions are set to take place this afternoon, but they are expected to be uncontested.

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