News / South Africa

Steven Tau
2 minute read
30 Jun 2017
5:00 am

Ignoring ANC veterans will ‘come at a price’

Steven Tau

ANC policy conference: The stalwarts' boycott bodes ill for the party.

ANC stalwart Wally Serote is pictured along with other veterans during a press briefing held in Johannesburg 2017. Picture: Refilwe Modise

By blatantly disregarding the group of 101 ANC stalwarts, the Jacob Zuma-led party has officially invited the curse of history onto itself, political analyst Elvis Masoga says.

He was responding to the group’s latest decision to not be part of the first two days of the ANC’s policy conference, which gets under way today in Johannesburg.

The veterans initially requested a national consultative conference be held a few days before the policy conference to address the challenges facing the ANC. But their request was not heeded.

The group’s spokesperson, Murphy Morobe, said two days was insufficient to address the crisis, adding that the group would only attend the policy conference as branch members on the third day.

Yesterday Masoga said the current ANC leadership was ignoring the veterans at its own peril.

“The Zuma-led ANC is blatantly disregarding the veterans, some of whom joined the ANC long before he (Zuma) could even think of joining this liberation movement.

“This is like a young man planning to get married, but choosing to ignore his parents and not getting their blessings.

“The ANC leadership should have, in the first place, accepted the veterans’ request.

“But they chose not to and now they find themselves going through catastrophic times.

“The ANC is caught between a paradox and a conundrum,” Masoga said.

On the message the veterans’ latest move would send to ordinary citizens, Masoga said the veterans were now absolving themselves of the scandals perpetrated by the ANC.

“They are basically telling the nation that this is not the ANC they joined and grew in.

“It is not that they have a personal vendetta against the president, but they are asking the question: how could one man have been allowed to cause so much damage to this liberation movement,” he said.

Another analyst, professor Andre Duvenhage, said the decision to boycott the first two days of the policy conference was a vote of no confidence in the present-day party by the veterans.

“They were initially denied a special consultative conference and they (stalwarts) cannot identify themselves with the Zuma grouping,” he said.

Duvenhage said both the pro and anti-Zuma groupings would use the conference to position themselves ahead of the party’s elective conference in December.

“I don’t expect anything explosive from this weekend’s conference, except that the anti-Zuma grouping will continue to indirectly attack the president whose camp, on the other hand, will continue pushing their radical economic transformation agenda which Zuma himself has been using to get support and sympathy.”

Yesterday Morobe said the ANC was rapidly losing legitimacy and the trust of communities.

Another party stalwart, Cheryl Carolus, said the excellent policies brought in by the ANC since 1994 had been undermined by the blatant abuse implicit in state capture and appointing cronies to ministerial positions.

“The ANC has great policies that will never be implemented for as long as they are being abused by the president and his cronies,” she added. –