Children of ANC exiles call on party to take action

2016-04-07 22:33


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Johannesburg  The children of ANC leaders and veterans, who grew up in the party during the 1980s, have written to the party's national executive committee (NEC) calling for a special national congress.

In the letter, published on Business Day's website, the 42 signatories said they were writing to express, on the record, their "deep concern".

"We are particularly perturbed by the developments within our movement which appear to demonstrate a conflation of loyalty to our revolutionary cause with loyalty to individuals  at the expense of the integrity and moral standing of our movement."

The group, which included relatives of Walter Sisulu and uMkhonto weSizwe veteran, Mavuso Msimang, wrote that they were specifically "outraged" by the movement's response to the Constitutional Court's judgment regarding President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home, as it was not "capable of misinterpretation".

They claimed that the ANC leadership and Zuma's response had "fundamentally undermined the moral integrity" of the party.

The signatories said they represented the Masupatsela a Walter Sisulu, the pioneer movement of the ANC.

Calls for Zuma's resignation

The calls for Zuma to resign have increased following the Constitutional Court's ruling that he had failed to uphold the Constitution when he did not comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's remedial action regarding payment for the non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

The call has come from opposition parties, civil society, some ANC members and party veterans such as Ahmed Kathrada, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former ANC deputy secretary general, Cheryl Carolus and Msimang.

Zuma addressed the nation on Friday. He apologised but said he did not "knowingly or deliberately" violate the Constitution.

This was not enough for the Masupatsela, who in their letter said Zuma's address to the nation was unsettling because the president did not apologise for the abuse of public funds for his personal benefit.

"We are extremely unsettled by his disingenuous and contradictory assertion that he had always been willing to pay for the non-security features at Nkandla."

'Not a free for all'

The group have called on the NEC to call a special national congress as a matter of urgency to "assess the conduct of the organisation and the leadership and to determine the appropriateness of the leadership to take the organisation forward".

"A failure to act courageously and decisively endangers the legitimacy of our movement as well as the future of South Africa," they said.

Earlier on Thursday, ANC general secretary, Gwede Mantashe, called on members of the party to engage within its structures.

"The ANC is an organisation, it's not just a free for all, it has this constitution, it has membership. That's where we take refuge to," he told News24.

He was reacting to public calls from ANC veterans and members for Zuma to resign.

Follow example of Sefako Makgatho branch

The ANC's Sefako Makgatho branch in the Greater Johannesburg region called on Zuma to resign or face the party's integrity commission or the national disciplinary committee.

At the party's Liliesleaf Farm branch's political dialogue held in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Wednesday night, there appeared to be a consensus that other branches should follow the example of the Sefako Makgatho branch.

The ANC Youth League in Gauteng said it had noted the calls made by veterans, members and the "exile babies".

"Their views are noted, however we advise them to be consistent, as it's a contradiction to identify the transgressions of others yet you yourself don't follow organisational processes," it said.

"The ANC constitution is quite clear which structures can call for a special congress and these are basics we expect stalwarts and those born in the organisation to understand. Their views are welcomed... however we ask them to be exemplary in their conduct and stop playing to the gallery."

Read more on:    anc  |  nkandla upgrade

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