News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
18 Dec 2017
9:54 pm

ANC leaders plead with delegates to continue voting for ‘unity’ into the NEC

Gosebo Mathope

Zikalala said the party will now focus on land expropriation, industrialisation and service delivery during policy discussions.

Ace Magashule arrives on stage after winning the position of ANC Secretary General at the ANC's 54th National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg on 18 December 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Immediately after it was announced that Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma lost her bid to lead the country’s ruling party, an impromptu anti-Ramaphosa demonstration broke out very close to the main entrance into Nasrec in Ormonde View.

Some of the participants, unclear if they were legitimate delegates to the conference or those calling themselves “friends of the delegates”, made it clear that they were unhappy with the outcome and questioned the integrity of the process.

The murmurs of NDZ supporters being railroaded to accept the outcome for both the top two positions regardless of their objections surfaced. They said they will reserve their right to dispute the outcome of the elections in court.

This is in stark contrast to a plea for unity and a call to the delegates currently voting for candidates into the powerful national executive committee (NEC) to extend an olive branch and embrace their opponents into this structure.

Sihle Zikalala, currently attending the conference as a branch delegate as Kwazulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) as he was barred from voting at the conference, said it will be in the best interest of the party if delegates who are currently voting for candidates into the NEC appreciate that all camps have to work together going forward.

“It is important for the party to unite for three reasons: we need to offer services to the previously marginalised, accelerate industrialisation and pass land nationalisation as a policy during this conference,” he said on the sidelines of the conference.

Zikalala was optimistic that he will soon be back in his position as the chairperson of the party in the province, saying the fact that the courts has granted them access to an appeal means they can continue operating as a PEC as per the mandate from national leaders.

ANCYL league president Collen Maine told the SABC that the League is fully behind the new leaders who are on the top six and also expressed hope that the delegates will continue to bring into the fold leaders who previously quarreled.

“We support the elected leadership. The branches of the ANC have decided that we need to work together. These branches have said that it is time that we unite.

“They appreciate that the ANC has been fighting and unable to render services. We have accepted the leadership and congratulate leadership,” he told the SABC.

Ramaphosa to walk a tightrope as he leads an NEC of concessions