Zuma puts the lid on the succession debate

2010-09-05 08:51

President Jacob Zuma and the ANC’s alliance partners have – for now – managed to suppress the succession debate ahead of the party’s national general council (NGC) in Durban later this month.

Addressing delegates at the KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial general council (PGC) yesterday, the leaders called on members to focus on policy issues ahead of the NGC from September 20 to 24.

Zuma, ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Zweli Mkhize and ­Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini urged delegates to back the leadership elected at ­Polokwane and resist the temptation to be drawn into lobbying for individuals instead of dealing with the midterm policy ­assessment at the NGC.

Dlamini told delegates that Cosatu still backed the entire top six elected at Polokwane in 2007 and asked delegates to ­forget about punting individual leaders and ensure that the mandates from Polokwane were implemented.

Zuma said organisational ­decisions had to be respected for the “health” of the ANC.

Members needed to respect their organisational “seniors” and abide by decisions of ANC forums at all levels.

Those whose positions were defeated at conferences and in other forums needed to accept the majority decision and not undermine the party, Zuma said. “Leave every other issue,” he said.

The move is seen as pre­empting a campaign by the ­ANCYL and its allies to thrust Fikile Mbalula into the secretary-general position, replacing incumbent Gwede Mantashe.

In his chairperson’s report, Mkhize said the kind of lobbying taking place in the ANC based on lists and “not the suitability of the individuals for the tasks for which they were elected” was “not in keeping with the culture of the ANC”.

Mkhize added that individuals were using ANC structures, including its women and youth leagues, to further their ­personal agendas and careers to the detriment of the party.

He said this resulted in conduct that “undermines the ­integrity of leaders of the ­movement and its policies”, and would “destroy” the ANC.

Heeding the warning, ­Mbalula ally and ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said there would be no discussion at the PGC on leadership issues, including the ANCYL’s proposals around “generational balance”, which the league is using in its bid to replace Mantashe with Mbalula.

Zikalala said the NEC directive that the NGC would only discuss organisational renewal and policy issues was supported by KwaZulu-Natal and would be implemented at the PGC.

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