Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘ANC won’t object to political parties attending Brics summit if invited’ – Mbalula

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says even the governing party has not received any invitation.

The African National Congress (ANC) will not oppose the invitation of any other political parties to the upcoming Brics summit.

The ANC is set to host the Brics Plus Political Dialogue from 18 to 20 July, and although a number of international political parties will be in attendance, no South African opposition party has been invited to the event.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has blamed his party’s exclusion from the pre-Brics summit on “political jealousy”.

‘ANC initiative’

Addressing the media on the first day of ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) on Friday, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said the event had “nothing to do with the EFF”.

“Next week, the ANC will convene a Brics Plus Political Dialogue within the Brics family… it’s an ANC initiative,” he said.

The ANC secretary-general indicated that only ANC’s alliance partners – the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) – would participate in the event.

“I have got no letter that I have signed inviting South African political parties except those we work with,” he said.

Mbalula confirmed that the Communist Party of China will be in attendance.

ALSO READ: Malema says ‘political jealousy’ behind ANC snubbing EFF for Brics forum

He also said he was unsure whether local political parties would be invited to the Brics summit.

“There’s then the Brics Heads of State Summit in August [which is] convened by government. I represent the ANC and even myself I have not received an invitation to that summit. If the EFF and Julius [or any party] are invited then we have no right to stand against that invitation. That will be the call of the South African government,” the ANC secretary-general said.

“We have got a lot on our plate to be thinking about the EFF at every turn of the moment so why would the ANC oppose other political parties if they are invited. We have got our own programme of action. If there’s confusion there, we are now clarifying it once and for all. There are two here events here.”

Watch the briefing below:

Ekurhuleni tensions

Meanwhile, Mbalula on spoke the ANC’s relationship with the EFF in Ekurhuleni, which seems to be on shaky ground.

ANC Ekurhuleni regional chairperson, Jongizizwe Dlabathi, recently wrote to Mbalula warning that the party’s alliance with the EFF would “systematically liquidate the ANC from power”.

In his letter, dated 26 June, Dlabathi said he believed the power-sharing arrangement between the parties had “no strategic value”.

READ MORE: ‘We don’t owe our allegiance to anyone,’ says Malema on EFF-ANC ‘coalition’

Malema has responded to the matter, saying that the EFF “did nothing wrong” and “simply refuses to be part of corruption”.

“Jongizizwe says the relationship is going to destroy the ANC because the EFF has not given them any space,” the EFF leader said on Thursday.

He also vowed to unseat the ANC in every Gauteng municipality in which they co-govern should the EFF’s mayoral committee members in Ekurhuleni be removed from their positions.

On Friday, Mbalula said ANC Gauteng secretary Thembinkosi “TK” Nciza has been asked to intervene in order to resolve the ongoing tensions with the EFF.

He further expressed concern over the leaking of Dlabathi’s letter.

“A matter of that nature should actually be debated and be discussed in the ANC. Correctly so, they have raised with the [secretary-general] and we have no delegated to the province. Next week, we will convene a broader meeting with Ekurhuleni to go through the issues that they are raising and their concerns with regards to coalitions,” he said.

“This will receive our immediate attention [because] we need to get close to one other and not talk passed each other on matters of this nature. These are strategic issues that need to be placed on the right platforms of the organisation to process,” the ANC secretary-general added.

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