ANC's elective conference not as important as 2019 election - Mbete

2017-07-18 18:06
Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete.  (File, Denis Farrell, AP)

Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete. (File, Denis Farrell, AP)

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Johannesburg - The ANC's elective conference in December is not as important as the 2019 general elections, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said on Tuesday.

Those who had left the party had to be "brought back home" as the organisation could not be allowed to die in the hands of the current generation, she said, speaking in Zulu at Rolihlahla Primary School in Etwatwa, on the East Rand.

"If someone has done wrong, they have to be brought home and reprimanded. They have to be shown that they are wrong and told this is not how things should be done. That way we build each other and the organisation," she said.

"We want those votes. We thank you for loving your organisation, even if it hurts, and even if things seem broken. We said this is the year of OR Tambo, so when things fall apart in the organisation, we must think of him and [Nelson] Mandela. All of us must build each other, the organisation, the nation and Africa."

When she asked the crowd if the opposition Democratic Alliance should be in power, an emphatic "no" and shaking of heads was the reply she received.

READ: DA wants Mbete's secret ballot decision by Friday

Secret ballot

The school hall was filled with elderly people who had been given priority seats. Many of the women wore ANC Women's League uniforms. Many others listened to Mbete from outside the hall, which former president Nelson Mandela had unveiled.

Although Mbete arrived over two hours late, the crowd was jovial and burst into song as she made her way to the stage.

The front of the stage was piled with blankets and packets containing vegetables like beetroot, cabbage, carrots and butternut, and which were later handed to needy locals. The crowd sang hymns and struggle songs and was serenaded by the Modderbee prison inmates' choir.

The Constitutional Court ruled on June 22 that Mbete had the sole discretion to determine whether a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma in August should be done via a secret or open ballot. Mbete responded by asking parties to tell her what their preferred method of voting was.

On Tuesday, she declined to answer a question about it which News24 posed to her as she left.

Opposition political parties represented in Parliament have insisted on a secret ballot. The DA had called on her to make her decision known by Friday.

Read more on:    anc  |  baleka mbete  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  anc leadership race

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