Danger still lurks in the ANC – stalwarts

2018-03-18 00:00
Mavuso Msimang

Mavuso Msimang

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ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang says the ANC rushed to pass the motion on expropriation without compensation because it feared being overshadowed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

“The ANC has always been a leader of society, it is a role we have abandoned today. For us to support a resolution because we don’t want to be outflanked by the EFF, for me is indicative of the death of leadership in the ANC,” Msimang told City Press in a frank interview this week.

“Justice must, of course, still be implemented in terms of land, but usually the ANC sits down and comes up with durable solutions. The ANC must not propose solutions that have not been thought out.”

Msimang is one of the delegation of veterans and stalwarts who met President Cyril Ramaphosa for the first time this week.

The former director-general of home affairs said that calls had been made from those such as ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule for the pressure group to “dissolve” and reintegrate into structures of the ANC. Msimang was at pains to clarify that the group never left the ANC.

“I sometimes wonder when people say: ‘dissolve dissolve’, what the rush is. We played a significant role in restructuring the veteran’s league under Snuki Zikalala, so we never left the ANC.

“We don’t need to be reintegrated anywhere. We were just willing to put our necks on the line to speak outside the ANC because the voice inside had been stifled completely.”

The group, made up of 101 elders of the movement, have cautiously welcomed Ramaphosa and the rest of the leadership elected at Nasrec in December, but Msimang warned that the party is not yet out of the woods.

“Delegates in December voted in a significant number of people who saw nothing wrong with Jacob Zuma. We have heard statements being made that the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa is being accepted and we are happy to hear that, but we must be realistic. We have heard senior people in the top six making some of the strangest statements that actually undermined the president. This is post Nasrec.

“We have seen somebody go to KwaZulu-Natal and mobilise, supposedly in the name of the ANC. Absolutely, the ANC has turned a corner but danger continues to lurk.

“How do you deal with that when you are president of the ANC? I think the fact that people are still making negative noises means that they feel sufficiently confident to destabilise the president if they felt strongly hurt.”

Revisiting an earlier call made by the 101 veterans and stalwarts, ahead of the watershed Nasrec conference, Msimang said that had their demand for an overhaul of the ANC’s electoral system been met, the conference might have produced different leaders.

“Every last person in the ANC leadership knows that we have a very defective electoral system.

“It enabled people who were in charge of factions to mobilise very strongly because they had undue influence.

“They had money they could offer, so it produced this thing that is so strange now. They were appointed by the delegates of the ANC.”

Responding to Ramaphosa’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, Msimang said he accepted it was merely transitional but that there was a missed opportunity for the new president to flex his muscles.

“There are others who have been closely entangled in the capture game who stayed in the Cabinet and I think a lot of people would have been perplexed by that.

“But one understands that this is a transitional Cabinet and his own Cabinet would be formed in the future.

“In my opinion, it would have strengthened his hand if he had removed the whole rubbish that was negative, but particularly anybody associated with corruption does not need to be in this man’s Cabinet.”

Msimang was also critical of the call for the return of EFF leader and former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

“Somebody saying, “Julius come back”, is a matter that would need to be discussed with the broader structures, not something that somebody pronounced on because he or she likes Julius or feels weak or feels he has taken most of the youth.

“Yes he has taken most of the youth, because the youth leadership of the ANC has been busy with the Guptas and state capture.”

Responding to controversies surrounding Magashule and Deputy President David “DD” Mabuza, Msimang said that the law should take its course without fear or favour and not wait for a judicial commission that could take months and not have some powers.

Msimang called for the integrity commission to be reinforced with new blood and for it to attend to matters that are not necessary to go before a court of law.

“They are not very young ... there is a need to reinforce that committee with young people, people who have agility so that it can carry out its very important function of maintaining ethics within the organisation.

“The integrity committee must have the courage to match the power it has,” said Msimang.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff

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