Splinter party will never threaten ANC, says Zuma

2008-10-08 00:00

ANC president Jacob Zuma yesterday dismissed as baseless the claims made by former defence minister Mosioua Lekota that the ANC under the new leadership has deviated from the values and the principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter.

Zuma also said that the proposed splinter party “is not and will never be” any real threat to the ANC.

He was speaking during an hour-long and wide-ranging interview on uKhozi FM last night.

“I am very confident that the ANC will have an even stronger showing at the polls next year.”

This splinter party will never be a real threat. Here we are talking about a party that has not been formed as yet and if it were to be formed it will have very little time to mobilise support before the elections,” Zuma said during the show.

Earlier, Lekota hinted at the imminent formation of a new party by disgruntled ANC members.

During the press conference he accused the ANC of departing from its founding principles saying the new leadership [under Zuma] has done nothing to condemn some of the practices deemed to go against the values of the organisation.

However Zuma said that the ANC had not deviated from the Freedom Charter adding that it was not the first time that Lekota had raised issues. “There is nothing new in what he said today. Mr Lekota has raised these issues even before Polokwane and we have spoken to him and addressed these,” he said without elaborating further.

Lekota had also charged that some ANC members and leaders had contravened the “All shall be equal before the law” clause as enshrined in the Freedom Charter by seeking a political solution to Zuma’s corruption trial. The ANC president however defended the calls for the political solution.

“Those who have made this call were saying that because they felt that this was no ordinary criminal trial, but they felt that it was a political trial. This has even affirmed by a [Pietermaritzburg] High Court judge”.

In response to Lekota’s criticism of the ANC Youth League for making inflammatory statements, Zuma said the party will never condemn its youth leaders publicly saying that such matters were dealt with internally.

Zuma said that the ANC leadership will continue to engage with Lekota and other dissatisfied members within the party.

He also said that his leadership will be meeting with other dissenting voices outside the party with a view to addressing some of the differences. He mentioned Archbishop Desmond Tutu as one of the people he will be meeting with. Tutu has been critical and lambasted the Zuma leadership of the ANC.


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