To hell with camps in the ANC, says Mbalula

Though he expresses unhappiness at his demotion to Luthuli House, the ANC head of elections believes his party is united.

In an interview with eNCA while walking through Tembisa, Gauteng, on Friday morning with President Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula was highly dismissive of anyone who is still playing factional politics in the ruling party.

The ANC was launching its ‘Thuma Mina’ (Send Me) campaign ahead of next year’s general elections, though Mbalula denied it had anything to do with electioneering. The party has realised it can leverage off the popularity of Ramaphosa’s early-morning walks to boost its profile and image among voters.

Mbalula said they were in Tembisa to hand out title deeds and “expropriate land”, along with doing other things to “fix people’s problems”.

The ANC is, however, facing an uphill battle to regain support in Gauteng. Mbalula said they wanted to show they were working hard to get their voters to come out and vote again, instead of staying away, as had happened in 2016.

Surrounded by ANC members as they walked, Mbalula admitted he was not happy with having been axed as a minister and told to go to Luthuli House as the head of elections, which was effectively a demotion, but he was focused on working now and being loyal to the ANC.

Mbalula had backed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at ANC party elections in December, but the victory went to Ramaphosa. Denying the existence of ongoing factionalism, he said: “There is no NDZ camp or Ramaphosa camp. We are one ANC. Where we stood before the conference doesn’t matter. We are running the ANC. So we must do things in the right way.”

He said people who leaked what he had said in meetings didn’t matter.

“It’s their business. We belong to one movement. I have been like that and I’ve never changed. I went to Mangaung (in 2012), I lost the conference, and I came back and worked hard for the movement.

“The ANC is not about where we stood before. We were given an opportunity; we were defeated. We are one ANC. We’re not camps. Those who are still entertaining camps … to hell with camps!”

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