President wants branches to exercise their power

2015-11-18 06:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma weighed in on the vulnerability of the ANC’s branches at the weekend.

Leading up to the ANC provincial conference, eyebrows were raised as the provincial leadership pushed ahead with the conference despite the party’s biggest region in the country, eThekwini, failing to hold a successful conference in more than four attempts.

However, the ANC provincial leadership pointed out that it was the branches that elect leadership in the conference, not regions.

Although Zuma agreed with the sentiment he raised concerns over the vulnerability of the branches.

“If you find a branch sitting in that corner, and the other one is sitting there, it is easy to manipulate them. They become easy targets,” he said.

Zuma said branches hold powers that neither the National Executive Committee (NEC) nor the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) hold. He said NEC or PEC cannot change the decisions taken by branches without calling a special conference.

However, Zuma was sceptical about whether the branches were using the power given to them.

“Because we [leaders] have become smart, we go to the branches and tell them what to do and what not to do,” he said.

At the end of his term in 2017 as the ANC president, Zuma said he was going to go back to his branch “to exercise his power”.

“I have heard some people saying ‘Zuma is a liability, but anyway it is fine because he is going’. I am not going anywhere. I am an ANC member and will die an ANC member. I am going back to my branch. Watch out because I will come back and I will be very assertive in my approach to issues at hand,” Zuma said.

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