The African National Congress (ANC) is not going through crisis, as many have suggested, and those who criticise Africa’s oldest liberation movement publicly sought to “demonise” the party, says Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
“I wouldn’t say it is a crisis. I will say we are undergoing some challenges in relation to what is happening now… Over a period of time‚ the ANC has been tested. It has emerged victorious at each turning point in terms of its history,” Mbalula said in an interview with the BBC’s Hard Talk programme.
TimesLIVE reports that Mbalula – who is also a member of the governing party’s national executive committee (NEC) – was critical of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa for expressing their disapproval of President Jacob Zuma in public.
“Mathews Phosa‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ and whoever in concert‚ they are not the ANC in their own right. There’s a whole lot of disciplined members of the ANC who have not sought to express any view in the manner in which some of the views have been expressed in public and demonise the [ANC].
“He [Ramaphosa] is a leader of the ANC. Where I’m correcting you [BBC presenter Stephen Sackur]‚ is that views expressed by individuals who are members of the ANC don’t necessarily represent the position of the ANC. If Mathews Phosa has got a view about Zuma to go‚ he knows that view is not shared commonly. It’s not a view that the majority of members of the ANC agree with,” he said.
Mbalula also dismissed calls by opposition parties for Zuma to step down from office after his shambolic Cabinet reshuffle and subsequent credit-ratings downgrades by two global ratings firms.
“The view that you are expressing is one-sided. It’s a coalition of forces. For whatever reason‚ they have coalesced around the president‚ that he must go. It is not the view of the majority.”
Last month, Ramaphosa said he supported calls for a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of “state capture” against the controversial Gupta family.
Mbalula said the ANC was not against the inquiry as recommended by former public protector Thuli Madonsela in her State of Capture report.
Last year, Zuma filed an application to the North Gauteng High Court to review and set aside Madonsela’s remedial actions contained in the report, in particular her recommendation that the inquiry should be headed by a judge solely chosen by the head of the Constitutional Court.