We can’t debate leadership with Holomisa – ANC

2012-10-10 08:51

The ANC has snubbed a debate on its leadership elections in Mangaung in December because UDM leader Bantu Holomisa was on the panel.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told City Press Holomisa was “fired from the ANC just like (expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius) Malema” and would not be “objective”.

This after ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe turned down an invitation to take part in the Mail&Guardian’s Critical Thinking Forum in Johannesburg last night.

The party refused to send anyone, and the panel was left with Holomisa, SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila and commentator Eusebius McKaiser. SAFM’s Xolani Gwala moderated.

Mthembu said the party had “no problem” debating with members from its leagues, alliance partners or even commentators. He said the organisers should have asked people “who have a direct interest in the life of the ANC, not those who want to kill the ANC” such as opposition leaders.

“You can’t be discussing ANC leadership with Bantu Holomisa, what does he have to do with the ANC?” he said.

Holomisa last night said it was “funny” that the ANC should snub the debate because of him, because, he claimed, the UDM had helped the ANC come to power in KwaZulu-Natal in 2004.

Holomisa said “small minds you have to deal with”.

Both Holomisa and Mapaila said they expected President Jacob Zuma to stay on after the ANC’s December congress, with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe remaining his deputy.

“To be honest, I don’t expect change from the quagmire we are in,” Holomisa said. He said even if Motlanthe or Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale stood for president, they had not yet indicated what they would do differently.

Holomisa said best would still be if the electoral system was changed so that people could elect MPs and the president directly.

Mapaila denied it was a “quagmire”, but said there was only a “contradiction” in the party about leadership. He did admit, however, that money was a problem in the party.

McKaiser said there were systemic problems in South Africa that could not be solved just by a change of presidents.

He said South Africa needed leaders who are responsive, ethical, have technocratic ability and who are “inspirational visionaries”.

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