President Cyril Ramaphosa will not be overthrown as leader of the governing party at the ANC’s national general council (NGC) next year.
Instead, the council will serve merely as a mid-term view period for the ANC to take stock of the progress or lack therefore that has been made by its sixth administration.
These were the words of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule during a media briefing on Wednesday.
The briefing was called by the party to discuss the outcomes of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) which sat on Sunday and Monday.
“There has been a lot of speculation, especially in the media, that certain people, Ramaphosa, or the secretary-general [Magashule] will be removed in next year’s NGC. This won’t be the case; it’s just the wish of the media. It is not true that there is a plot to oust Ramaphosa in next year’s NGC. The NGC is a midterm review engagement meeting and that’s what we will be doing,” said Magashule.
He also responded to media reports suggesting there were divisions within the party’s top six: “There are no problems between the ANC’s top six, it’s only people trying to drive wedges between us.”
Magashule reiterated that Ramaphosa has the full backing of the party and this would be the case for the duration of his presidency.
During the sitting of the NEC, the party’s highest decision making body, a decision was taken that next year’s NGC will be held in June to coincide with the signing of the Freedom Charter 65 years ago.
“The NEC has also decided that all conferences of the party including branch conferences and the youth league’s elective conference will take place between January and March 2020 to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People in Kliptown on 26 June 1955,” said Magashule.
The NEC had also agreed “the total number of participating delegates would be 3000”.
There has been a lot of speculation that Ramaphosa might face a rebellion from within his own party at the NGC with those who were openly supportive of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma taking the opportunity to possibly push for an election and select a new leader.
However, Magashule rubbished such suggestions as being the figment of the media’s imagination.
“As I said earlier, the top six is united and the party will merely take the opportunity [of the NGC] as a midterm review of the work we have done. It is the media that is making up these non-existent divisions,” said Magashule.
“The NEC emphasised the political importance of these conferences that must focus on the implementation of conference resolutions, policies and programmes aimed at improving the lives the majority of South Africans,” he said.
Magashule admonished the youth league members who were terrorising and disrupting meetings being held by the national youth task team, saying their conduct was grossly unacceptable and unbefitting of members of the organisation.
“The NEC noted challenges facing the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and expressed serious concerns regarding incidents of violence and the carrying of guns in meetings. The NEC conveyed its condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wished those injured a speedy recovery. The NEC emphasised the importance of a strong and stable ANCYL and Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) to the ANC. The Alliance Political Council also resolved to address challenges in the South African Students’ Congress and Congress of South African Students urgently. The NEC resolved that the Youth League will have its national conference by March 2020,” said Magashule.
This comes after an ANC Youth League and Congress of SA Students member, Lethabo Nkoana, was shot and killed during a national youth task team meeting in Hammanskraal last month.
He was allegedly trying to protect his friend, Jabulani Musi, during a scuffle that had ensued as a result of a fight which broke out between two factions of the youth league in Tshwane.
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