Divided ANC holds policy talks

2012-06-23 18:34

It will be a divided ANC that gathers for its policy conference this week, with both President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe shaken after a fighting week.

The four-day conference, which starts at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Tuesday, will be a chance for lobby groups to test support for their leaders ahead of the ANC’s elective congress in Mangaung in December.

Zuma is expected to have the last word ahead of the conference as he addressed the ANC’s Free State conference in Parys today.

This week:
» A youth gathering addressed by Motlanthe in his constituency of Soshanguve started three hours late after officials had to scramble to find people to attend;

» Free State chairman Ace Magashule was re-elected – a boost for Zuma, but the bitter divisions that characterised it suggest his power base is not that firm;

» Human Settlements Minister and presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale launched another veiled attack on Zuma by suggesting there is a perception that people in his home-base of KwaZulu-Natal are “tribalists”; and

ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola attacked Zuma, saying Zuma prioritised development in his rural village of Nkandla over other areas.

Yesterday at a gathering in Bethlehem Lamola called on Motlanthe to “speak his mind” because the league would defend him.

Despite the veiled campaigning for leadership positions ahead of this week’s policy conference, differences between the camps on policy issues, especially about the second transition, look set to be less clear-cut than initially expected.

The party is also set to drop the willing-seller-willing-buyer principle to speed up land reform.

Matter of fact

On June 24 2012, City Press published a second story on page 1 under the headline “Divided ANC holds policy talks” in which we said Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale “launched another veiled attack on (President Jacob) Zuma by suggesting there is a perception that people in his home base of KwaZulu-Natal are ‘tribalists’.”

This was incorrect.

Sexwale was quoted in a press statement from his ministry as having said: “It is the revolutionary duty of all of us, in the memory of George (Sithole), to dispel the myth perpetuated by those who distort the ANC by giving an impression that our comrades in KwaZulu-Natal are all of a sudden supposed to be regarded as some kind of tribalists.”

We apologise for the error.

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