'ANC policies are not the Bible' - KZN determined to fight its battles at December conference

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  • The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal doesn't believe the policy conference is where its policy strategy will be won. 
  • The province is determined to win the fight over the step-aside resolution and expropriation of land without compensation. 
  • Provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said the party's policies were not the Bible and were meant to be amended. 

ANC policies are not the Bible and are destined to be amended, reviewed and even scrapped by its members. 

This was ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo's latest defence on the province's push to amend the step-aside resolution, which has become the latest proxy fight at the party's national policy conference. 

The newly-elected Mtolo told News24 the idea of the step-aside issue being untouchable was a fallacy. 

This despite President Cyril Rampahosa telling delegates during his opening address of the party's need to defend its renewal agenda. 

Mtolo said ANC policies were not untouchable and were designed to be amended when material conditions changed. 

"The policies that are there are not the Bible. The only documents I know that have never had a conference to be amended are the Bible and the Quran. You cannot amend those. But any policy and the Constitution can be amended by anyone. 

"You establish a policy under certain material conditions, and when those conditions change, you review. We are not saying step-aside must not be implemented. We are saying, let us review it and scrap it because it is selectively applied. It is a weapon for a powerful, dominant faction to target political opponents," Mtolo said on Saturday on the sidelines of the ANC policy conference. 

READ | Pro-Zuma song shut down at ANC policy conference, while KZN sticks to guns on step-aside rule

Mtolo said the KZN delegation at the policy conference was not there to convince anyone of the worthiness of its policy positions, because the province's might will be felt at the national elective conference in December. 

The policy conference is expected to recommend policy reviews and recommendations for the party. 

The ANC elective conference has the constitutional mandate to amend any of the party's policies, including the step-aside resolution adopted at the 2017 conference. 

Mtolo is well aware of where the KZN ANC will have its most significant push on its policies. 

He stressed that the firebrand province, as the biggest region for the ANC, would ensure it wins the proxy fight. 

"We are not here to convince delegates that we are successful because we are unaware of how the delegates here are structured. These people here are not representing branches. They represent structures. For example, in other provinces, it is the whole PEC," Mtolo said. 

"Even if we are defeated here, it does not matter. I can tell you for sure that in December, 90% of delegates deciding there will be from branches. In KZN, we have 831 branches. We have 182 delegates here; of that, only 140 come from branches. This conference is a recommending body. I can tell you we will pass everything we want at the national conference, because it has strength and power," he said. 


Mtolo launched an attack on Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, saying he had overreached his powers in recommending the ANC reviews its cadre deployment policy.

He said it would not be reviewing the policy, despite the party leaders already indicating a willingness to do so.

The provincial secretary also attacked several members of the ANC, saying their stance on state capture had soured for some people, including national chairperson Gwede Mantashe. 

He said those who supported the commission were now determined to review the report's findings, because of their implications. 

When state capture started, those pushing for the commission are now taking the report on review. Why are they taking it on review? There are people in the top six who are no longer happy. They thought the State Capture Commission would find bad things against Zuma. Now they believe Zondo has gone overboard.

"No sober judge can recommend that a political party can recommend that it changes its own rules. I am a beneficiary of cadre deployment and have not been involved in corruption. We are not going to review cadre deployment. That will never happen," Mtolo said. 

He accused the ANC of failing its previous resolutions and watering down its stance on expropriating land without compensation. 

He said the party lost support from the EFF for good reason, because it diverted its 2017 resolution. 

"We are serious about expropriation of land without compensation. The ANC did not fail. It shot itself in the foot. It watered down its own resolution. If we did not water down our resolution, the EFF would have supported us. The 54th national conference captured the original resolution. We watered down our own resolution. Ours is to mandate the coming NEC, not to water down the resolution," said Mtolo. 

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