Veterans’ League ‘must not get involved in in-fighting’ – ANC

2012-06-27 16:07

Elders should be seen and not heard.

This seems to be the attitude of the ANC on the Veterans’ League, a body that looks after the interests of the over-60-year-olds in the movement.

Yesterday, president Jacob Zuma lambasted the league, accusing it of getting involved in “controversial” issues.

“I’ll look you in the face and say this, don’t get involved in these things,” Zuma said from the podium during his opening speech.

The organisational renewal document, discussed at the ANC policy conference taking place in Midrand this week, also had some harsh words for the league.

“The primary focus of the Veterans’ League should be to assist the movement in dealing with all the challenges of the current period. Veterans can only do so if they are not caught up in the current in-fighting and factional battles in the structures of the movement,” the document said.

This is a stern warning to league president Sandi Sejake, who is known to be close to Human Settlements Minister and presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale. Under Sexwale’s stewardship the league was re-launched shortly before the ANC’s elective conference in 2007 in Polokwane.

Although the league does not have a major say at conferences, it holds a few crucial votes which can give it kingmaker status if the conference is equally balanced between two contenders for the presidency.

The league is seen as loyal to Sexwale, which can make Zuma anxious about his chances to be re-elected at the next elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Justice Minister and ANC policy chief Jeff Radebe today told reporters a proposal was being considered which made members of the league part of the ANC’s integrity committee.

This committee is supposed to serve as the party’s moral compass to ensure party leaders do not fall prey to corruption and abuse of power.

Although the Polokwane conference directed the ANC to set up the committee, it has not started its work yet.

The committee would hold an integrity register in which ANC leaders will declare their business and other interests, to ensure their conduct with business is above reproach.

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