ANC veterans preparing for second meeting with party leaders

2016-11-23 08:44
Reverend Frank Chikane (Netwerk24)

Reverend Frank Chikane (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – Stalwarts of the ANC are preparing for Friday's meeting with the party's national executive committee (NEC) where they are expected to continue with calls for a renewal of the political party.

They have been deliberating over issues that need to be addressed when they meet with the committee.

"We understand this to be the beginning of a number of engagements which will take place until all the issues have been dealt with," the veterans' media co-ordinator Mpho Mosimane told News24 on Tuesday.

A small delegation is expected to meet with the ANC's NEC, following a meeting between themselves and the party's national working committee (NWC) on Monday.

"Difficult but robust" is how some in the meeting described it.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told journalists on the sidelines that the meeting was at times difficult but quite important for the health of the ANC moving forward.

One elder who did not want to be named told News24 that president Jacob Zuma lashed out at stalwarts for discussing their concerns and experiences in attempting to raise their worries about the direction the party was taking in the media.

"I think this thing is going to be problematic if you go to the media" is what the president is said to have told more than 30 veterans who took part in the meeting.

'Harsh allegations and gentle pleas'

He sounded like he was attempting to threaten us, to stop us from going public, said a stalwart.

But before that representations were made to the NWC by author Wally Serote and Reverend Frank Chikane who explained why the stalwarts wanted to meet current leaders in the ANC and spoke to the "For the Sake of our Future" document, which was compiled by the leaders, its objectives and ways towards their achievement.

Mantashe and national chairperson Baleka Mbete also addressed those in the room before individuals were given a chance to share their thoughts with their fellow comrades.

Rivonia trialist Denis Goldberg was also in the room. He told News24 he was there to speak on behalf of his two other counterparts Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni.

"There was some harsh talking and some gentle talking, harsh allegations and gentle pleas for renewal," said Goldberg.

Although he refused to reveal much about the meeting he said some reminisced about the old ANC while others shared their hopes for the party going forward.

A stalwart who refused to be named said Goldberg had some harsh words for the leadership, claiming he said if they didn't acknowledge that they had brought the organisation into disrepute then there would be no renewal for the 104-year-old movement.

One veteran said he was not surprised by how events unfolded on Monday, explaining that there could be no real outcome until further discussion took place.

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