Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo was a no-show on Monday at a media briefing arranged by the newly formed Mazibuye African Congress (MAC). According to an alert sent out by the MAC over the weekend, Mahumapelo would have spoken about the MAC's radical economic transformation programme. The party said he had another engagement.
During the briefing in Marikana in the North West, the MAC clarified its relationship with the former ANC leader in the province.
"Comrade Supra made it very clear to us that he remains a member of his party, but because we are also championing the programme that he advocated - the programme of radical economic transformation - he will support the programme," said MAC secretary general Romeo Matjila.
Although the MAC says Mahumapelo is staying put, it has claimed other prominent ANC members will defect to the newly formed political party that only accepts black members.
However, Matjila was not able to say just who the prominent ANC members were, saying they had asked that their names not be revealed just yet. He said the names of the new members would be announced at an upcoming rally.
MK veterans in attendance
Matjila also told reporters that members of the DA, including a young councillor from the North West, EFF members and members of the African Democratic Change party had already joined the party's ranks.
Several Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) veterans were also at the briefing. Explaining their presence, MAC president Reggie Ngcobo said they were freedom fighters who had fought for the liberation of all people, not just those in the ANC.
"So if a group of people who hold similar ideas to those of the ANC of the past come to the fore, the MK [veterans] have every right to associate and relate to that agenda."
Despite the veterans' presence, Ngcobo still took shots at the governing party. He labelled the ANC the "British American Thuma Mina brigade" for dropping the ball on radical economic transformation.
Ngcobo said that former president Jacob Zuma was removed in order to pave the way for imperial powers and is now being subjected to vilification using state systems.
"This venom is now trickling down to various government institutions and provinces," Ngcobo said.
'Black people must organise to empower themselves'
The MAC also clarified its position on only allowing black South Africans to join the political party, saying that this decision did not mean it had a racist agenda.
"We are not racist, we believe that everyone who is here legally is a South African and they have the right to exist but it should be clear that black people must pave their own way. They must have their own direction," Ngcobo said.
Matjila added that black people should be allowed to organise themselves.
"Not organise ourselves to be against whites, but organise ourselves to empower ourselves as black people, without any interference," Matjila said.
"We are not saying we do not want you (people of other races) at all, we are saying; please give us time to fix ourselves as black people, we do not want to be lukewarm when it comes to the land issues, a black man's emancipation. We don't want to be the ANC."