Johannesburg - The ANC is a "complete mess" and its young cadres have no interest in history, but simply want access to jobs and personal enrichment, according to a United States embassy cable obtained by City Press through the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
According to the cable, the ANC's Gauteng spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli told a US diplomat that crippling divisions were plaguing the ruling party.
Ntuli, who has denied discussing internal ANC issues with the US embassy, did not mince his words about the party, according to the cable, which is dated October 29 2009.
He reportedly said the party was deeply divided not only between supporters of Zuma and former president Thabo Mbeki, but "along multiple other lines", City Press reported.
"There are die-hard Zuma supporters, the pro-labour people, the Communists, the pro-Mbeki people and no one speaks for the same things," Ntuli is quoted as saying in the cable.
"Party leaders are seeking ways to restructure and unify the party so that younger members understand the history and values of the ANC.
"However, according to Ntuli these efforts are not going well and will only lead to failure.
"He said: 'The younger cadres have no interest in the history of the ANC. They want access to jobs and personal enrichment.'
"Worse than the lack of interest in history, [Ntuli] claimed, is that they will not listen to, or respect senior officials."
Ntuli apparently told the diplomat party members were "mostly focused on jockeying for positions to be decided upon at the 2012 national congress".
He said: "The party isn't even focused on the 2011 elections."
Ntuli, who the diplomat came to regard as an Mbeki loyalist, said the "Zuma government will not come close to delivering" on the party's resolutions.
He said the ANC was concerned that it would lose to the Democratic Alliance in the Tshwane metro during the 2011 local government elections.
"We have big internal problems in Tshwane," he is quoted as saying.
He reportedly attributed the "problems" to "infighting over government positions".
Ntuli said this week that he had not seen the cable.
"I am just surprised, because I never had any meeting with the embassy about those issues," he told City Press.
On Saturday, Beeld newspaper reported that according to a diplomatic cable published on WikiLeaks, ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa told US ambassador Donald Gips on December 17 2009 that he was worried about "continuing tension" between the ANC and its alliance partners.
The conversation took place amid a bitter dispute between senior members of the ANC-led alliance.
A few weeks earlier, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema had described SA Communist Party deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin as a "white Messiah".
This, after Cronin noted that Malema and others only thought of "bling" when they spoke about the nationalisation of mines.
Phosa said even though the "anti-communism" call in the ANC was increasing, the clashes had more to do with personalities than with anything else.According to the document, Phosa told the diplomat: "Everyone talks about 2012. The league thinks [Gwede] Mantashe's roles as Communist Party chair and secretary general of the ANC [are] in conflict with each other."
'Worse than Polokwane'
Phosa also revealed details of a closed meeting where Malema accused Mantashe of having a conflict.
Phosa said the ANC needed time to cool off, otherwise the 2012 party congress would be "worse than Polokwane".
Phosa said last week that he would not comment on the cable.
"As a lawyer I do not have to authority to comment on documents that I have never seen, and which have been written by a third party."