'We will only allow songs that unite us' – Mantashe

2017-06-29 22:40
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe briefs the media on the party's state of readiness for the policy conference. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe briefs the media on the party's state of readiness for the policy conference. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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ANC stalwarts explain 'boycott' of consultative conference

2017-06-29 16:31

ANC stalwarts and veterans, who are 'boycotting' the consultative conference ahead of the party's policy conference, want to hold the event at a later date. Watch for more. WATCH

Johannesburg - ANC members attending the national policy conference this weekend will not be allowed to sing divisive songs or cast aspersions on any leader, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said.

Speaking at a media briefing on the eve of the six-day conference to be held at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, Mantashe said songs that hurt the feelings of individuals would not be allowed.

"We know established songs of the movement; we will not tamper with them because there is a conference. But we will tamper with new songs that are intended to hurt the feelings of our leaders. We want songs to unite, not to hurt."

The conference gets underway amidst divisions over a fiercely contested leadership race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as well as calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

He is expected to give an opening address at the conference on Friday morning, at 09:00.

WATCH: ANC briefs media ahead of national policy conference

A heated debate is expected at the conference, with the party's factions arguing over the definition of radical economic transformation and whether the domination of capital should be racially defined.

The conference will also dedicate two days to assess the "health" of the party after being rocked by several scandals, declining electoral support, and calls for Zuma to step down.

Following a number of court cases, marches by members of the public, as well as the recent release of emails linking Zuma and other government officials to the controversial Gupta family, Mantashe said the issue of state capture would be discussed "candidly".

The policy conference does not have constitutional powers to change policy, but proposals will be taken to the December elective conference for adoption.

Zuma is facing the 8th motion of no confidence in Parliament and has survived two formal calls for him to step down in the party's national executive committee.

WATCH: ANC stalwarts explain 'boycott' of consultative conference

Tripartite alliance partners COSATU, SACP and SANCO have also called for him to go while stalwarts and ANC MK council members have chosen to boycott the conference.

Despite all this, Mantashe has insisted that they were not expecting any disruptions during the conference.

"We can’t expect disruptions in the meeting of the ANC and I can assure you that there’ll be no disruptions."

He also insisted that the levels of security around the event were no more than the usual – with no security threats reported.

There is heavy security presence, with access outside and inside to the Nasrec Expo Centre, where the conference will be held.

A total of 5 000 delegates is expected to attend the first two days of the conference, which are dedicated to discussing the state of the ANC. While the rest of the conference, dedicated to policy would be attended by about 3500.

Around 1 500 journalists have been accredited for the event. 

Read more on:    anc  |  johannesburg  |  anc policy  |  anc leadership race  |  ancpolicy17

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