Zuma: Not The Time To Debate Succession

“Mobilising and lobbying for succession so early also gives the wrong impression that the ANC comprises of groups of people who are pre-occupied with fighting for influential positions to advance personal interests instead of advancing the programme of the organisation,” Zuma told delegates at the midterm policy review conference in Durban.

“It is clear that the time has come for the organisation to act. We must take a decision that those who engage in such activities are in fact undermining the organisation and its work and at worst, are undermining the unity of the organisation.

“Action must be taken against them.”

Zuma said a decision was taken by the national executive committee in May to ban public spats and discussions of the 2012 succession and related leadership preferences.

The African National Congress’ top leadership body took the decision to strengthen unity, prevent confusion and avoid undermining the confidence of the membership in their current leadership.

The ANC Youth League had recently come out in support of its former president, Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to replace current ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the next elective conference in 2012.

At the ANCYL’s own national general council (NGC) last month, songs were sung in support of Mbalula and delegates held placards favouring him over Mantashe.

Zuma said action would also be taken against members of the ANC who continued to attack others publicly and he expressed concern about “labelling” and “other divisive tendencies that are also creeping in”.

“For example, we have always said the ANC is a broad church but suddenly, there are now people who are said to be about, ‘anti-Communist’ and others who are ‘anti-nationalist’.”

Zuma said a new “dangerous method of lobbying” had emerged where people use money to buy support.

He slammed the “abuse of lobbying” which had been a long-standing democratic practice in the ANC.

“It cannot and should not take the form of an instruction on who to vote for, and thereby creating a culture of despising the will of the ANC branch members in good standing, in the manner that the ‘slate’ method is doing.

“This certainly corrupts the democratic processes of the ANC,” he said.

The “slate method” he referred to was when leadership was decided upon according to lists of members aligned to certain factions. ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and chairwoman Baleka Mbete had also in the past spoken out against the method.

Both leaders were elected on the Zuma slate at the ANC’s 2007 national conference. Times Live