‘ANC comes before SA’

2015-11-09 13:02
New KZN ANC chairman, Sihle Zikalala gets a warm welcome.

New KZN ANC chairman, Sihle Zikalala gets a warm welcome. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - President Jacob Zuma believes the African National Congress comes before the country.

“I argued one time with someone who said the country comes first and I said as much as I understand that I think my organisation, the ANC, comes first,” Zuma said in his capacity as party president at the ANC KwaZulu-Natal elective conference on Saturday.

“Because those people, if they are not part of the ANC and there was no ANC, they could be misled. They could be under … oppression forever.”

He said the country needed a conscious organisation which could take the people “to their destination”.

“The people without a revolutionary organisation, they can be in trouble, like many who have been in trouble.”

Zuma said ANC members needed to understand themselves and the organisation. The party did not count on individuals.

But Zuma also said instead of focusing on leadership positions, ANC members should focus more on service delivery issues. He told delegates that ordinary people “do not care about who wins in the conference, but are concerned about the issues of service delivery”.

It has become a norm that ANC branches pronounce their preferred leaders months ahead of the conference.

By the day of the conference, it is already known in quarters of the ANC which branch is supporting which candidate.

However Zuma said this “was a wrong way of doing things”.

“You are supposed to go to a conference and debate on the matters that you feel poses a challenge to the party.

“After debating those matters than you need to identify people who you feel can take the party forward.”

“But you are not doing that. You nominate your preferred candidates a year before the conference. You are not basing your choices on the issues that were debated, you are basing it something else,” he said.

Zuma said the political campaigning amongst ANC members had reached another level.

“I can become a member of another member or I can own my own members,” he said. Zuma encouraged unity in the province.

“Some leaders take a stance to isolate those who are not close to them.

“All the tensions in this province must end. If the majority of the views move to the other direction, you must accept it.”

“Nobody is bigger than the ANC.

“No challenge has ever been greater to such an extent that it can spell the end of ANC.”

Zuma told delegates the ANC should come first, even before the country.

“As much as I understand that the country should come first, we need a strong organisation that can take people forward,” he said.

Reacting yesterday, the DA said Zuma’s comment is a violation of his oath of office.

The official opposition party wanted Zuma to retract the comment and apologise.

“This is unbecoming of a President who has sworn an oath to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa,” DA MP Kobus Marais said in a statement.

“It is this kind of sentiment that allows for abuse of power — to the detriment of ordinary citizens — in the name of the ANC.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  zuma  |  anc

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