ANC conference to be 'worse than Polokwane'

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Johannesburg - The ANC's 2012 conference will be "worse than Polokwane" as tension between the party and its alliance partners continues, Beeld newspaper reported on Saturday.

The newspaper reported that according to a diplomatic cable published on Wikileaks, ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa told US ambassador Donald Gips on 17 December 2009 that he was worried about "continuing tension" between the ANC and its alliance partners.

The conversation took place amidst a bitter dispute between senior members of the ANC led alliance.

A few weeks earlier, ANC youth league leader Julius Malema, had described SA Communist Party deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin as a "white Messiah".

This was after Cronin noted that Malema and others only think of "bling" when they speak 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.

"Phosa thinks it's rather an attack on Dr Blade Nzimande, the SACP leader, and Mr Gwede Mantashe, the SACP chairman," the cable read.

According to the document Phosa said to the diplomats: "Everyone talks about 2012. The league thinks Mantashe's role as Communist Party chairman and secretary general of the ANC is in conflict with each other. "

Zuma a 'good leader'

Phosa also revealed details of a closed meeting where Malema accused Mantashe of having a conflict of interest in his role in both parties.

Phosa said the ANC needed time to cool off, otherwise the 2012 Party Congress would be "worse than Polokwane".

On Zuma's tenure as president, Phosa said, "I told you, Zuma will be a good leader."

He also believed Zuma will "make South Africa a better country".

Zuma did not share former president Thabo Mbeki's "anti-Western bias" and its interaction with US President Barack Obama of the USA was very important for South Africa and the ANC.

Phosa said this week that he would not comment on the cable.

"As a lawyer (attorney) I do not have to authority to comment on documents that I have never seen, and which have been written by a third party."

After hearing clips read to him by Beeld, Phosa said the author "was very creative".

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