Zuma calls for unity at ANC Women's League congress

2015-08-06 22:13
(Genevieve Quintal, News24)

(Genevieve Quintal, News24)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma emphasised the importance of unity in the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) when he addressed their long-awaited conference on Thursday night.

Zuma called on delegates not to focus on the leadership battle, which had become a trend, but on policies affecting women.

"Why are we doing it? We are changing the organisation to be something else so when you come to [the] conference, the outcome is poorer because delegates are busy in the lobby sessions," he said to loud claps and cheers.

"Therefore the time to evaluate the organisation is lesser."

Throughout the day on Thursday delegates sang songs about their preferred candidate for ANCWL president.

It's understood that Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is contesting current president Angie Motshekga for the position.

Those in favour of Motshekga were holding up two fingers signalling a second term, while others wanting a new leader rolled their hands using the soccer sign for change.

Delegates are expected to start voting for leaders on Friday.

Zuma called on the ANCWL to leave the organisation better than when they founded it.

However, by focusing on leadership positions, it was doing the opposite, he said.

"We don't seem to be making our modern ANC better than the ANC of old in the way we approach things," he said.

"The ANC is not helping the country."

Zuma said the ANC wanted a good outcome from the ANCWL conference.

He said even if a delegate's preferred candidate did not win the election, they must rally behind the elected leader.

"Once majority says this is the person, that person must be supported. This is the reason why we can't lobby or campaign wrongly."

The ANC did not belong to individuals but people, said Zuma.

Zuma received a rousing welcome from delegates on Thursday evening.

He was meant to address the conference earlier in the day, but had to be in Parliament to answer questions.

Read more on:    anc  |  ancwl  |  bathabile dlamini  |  jacob zuma  |  angie motshekga  |  politics

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