ANC veterans slammed at party's memorial lecture

2017-03-02 22:57
Nathi Mthethwa (Netwerk24)

Nathi Mthethwa (Netwerk24)

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Pietermaritzburg - ANC veterans who have been critical of the current leadership of the ruling party have come under fire at the Archie Gumede Memorial Lecture in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

While national executive committee (NEC) member and Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa delivered the keynote address, it was ANC Moses Mabhida regional secretary Mzi Zuma who fired the opening salvo at the veterans when asked to welcome guests and party members.

He thanked the Gumede family for allowing both Josiah Gumede and his father former ANC president Archie Gumede to join the ANC under difficult times when the apartheid government was still in power. He said party members were inspired by the discipline shown by the family towards the ANC.  

"The Gumede family is a shining example of what to expect from families who have been in the ANC.

"What we are seeing of late is shocking where some families with great struggle credentials are waging a war against the ANC, even going to the extent of siding with counter revolutionaries," said Zuma whose region is made up of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.

He called on the party's rank and file to defend the ANC against any form of attack.

'Publicity-seeking individuals' criticised

Mthethwa told party members that a great deal could be learned from Archie Gumede's conduct, who he said demonstrated that he was a disciplined and peace-loving individual who put the people's interest above his own.

The anti-apartheid activist always sought to deal with ANC matters within the structures of the ruling party, he said.

"We all need to speak against publicity-seeking individuals who call press conferences and attack the ANC.

"When you are a veteran there is a code of conduct expected out of you by younger generations," said Mthethwa to the applause from the audience.

He conceded that 2017 will be a challenging year, citing the mid-year policy conference and the elective conference in December as some of the factors that will make the current year a challenging one.

"There are challenges for the ANC no doubt, but people of such stature [veterans] should help in dealing with them, not exacerbate the situation," the NEC member continued.

Fight against poverty

He also called on party members to introspect and determine whether they are driven by love for the ANC or merely pursuing positions and power.

"We have people who are determined to defend themselves, not the ANC, and this is something that we need to deal with."

He said much had to be done to arrest poverty which is devastating communities across the country. He challenged party members to play a part in crafting a plan that could be used in dealing with the problem.

According to Mthethwa, regular lectures on former leaders and activists provide a platform for the development of proper and disciplined cadres.

He said members of the Moses Mabhida region had a lot to live up to as some leaders who had left an indelible mark came from the region. He listed Moses Mabhida, Harry Gwala, Josiah Gumede and Archie Gumede as some of the leaders from which members should draw inspiration.

Apart from the Gumede family former United Democratic Front (UDF) office bearer Murphy Morobe, ANC provincial executive committee member Mdumiseni Ntuli and local mayors formed part of the audience that included ANC members from the region.

Read more on:    anc  |  pietermaritzburg

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