‘Second transition good, ill-discipline bad’

2012-06-26 12:47

ANC president Jacob Zuma today sought to fend off resistance towards the idea of a “second transition” – a policy idea due to be debated at this week’s policy conference in Midrand near Johannesburg.

In his opening address, a confident Zuma urged the 3 500 delegates to be “open-minded” when they break into commissions today.

The “second transition” document, which advocates for a speedy transformation of the economy, has been punted mainly by ANC leaders who are seen to be favouring Zuma’s re-election as the party’s president in Mangaung in December.

The document has received mixed views within the ANC and was surprisingly rejected by the ANC Youth League, which has been advocating for economic freedom.

Zuma said one of the reasons the pace of economic transformation has been slow was compromises made during peace talks with the apartheid government to reach an agreement to build a democratic dispensation.

The last 18 years was the first transition and the ANC was now “calling for a dramatic shift” to fight poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“We had to make certain compromises in the national interest and these were absolutely necessary to make,” Zuma said. “We had to be cautious about restructuring the economy in order to maintain economic stability and confidence at the time. The time has come to do something more drastic to accelerate change towards economic transformation and freedom.”

Debates on organisational renewal will also be started this afternoon and Zuma stressed the importance of renewing the ANC Youth League, which has been on a collision course with its mother body on issues of autonomy and disciplining its leaders.

Its president, Julius Malema, has since been expelled from the ANC with the membership of its secretary-general, Sindiso Magaqa, suspended.

Said Zuma: “The renewal must include the revitalisation of structures of the movement. We should support, guide and strengthen the youth league in particular”.

He said the league should be a preparatory school incubator of future ANC leaders. Elders of the party who defend the league’s ill-discipline were cautioned in Zuma’s speech.

“It is expected of the ANC Veterans’ League to be the custodians of the culture and discipline of the ANC. They must know their role is to help the organisation, not to deepen what may be a controversial decision”.

Zuma is thought to have been referring to ANC Veterans’ League president Sandi Sejake who has been holding a different opinion with regard to Malema’s expulsion and publicly defended the youth league.

“Ke thaba haholo hore ke a le bolella hona mo. (I’m glad I’m telling you in your face right now),” said Zuma.

In sending a message of intolerance against ill-discipline Zuma seemed to be reminding delegates that the 2010 national general council gave a stamp of approval to disciplinary action.

“The ANC has taken action and it will continue to take action against anyone who crosses the line.”

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