Fears of ANC conference collapsing not far-fetched - MK National Council

Party needs 'to deliver on what you have to deliver, without imploding'

Fears of ANC conference collapsing not far-fetched - MK National Council

15 December 2017

Johannesburg - The Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) National Council says their main aim is to ensure the success of the African National Congress elective conference, which is due to commence on Saturday amid concerns of its possible collapse.

Speaking at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Friday, retired general MJ "Len" Rasegatla said that fears that the conference would collapse were not far-fetched, as the ANC's readiness was something the executive had also questioned.

"Our main role is to make sure it doesn't collapse. [To the ANC], you need to deliver on what you have to deliver, without imploding. Differing views must be raised, with respect," he said.

Rasegatla said that the ANC was too sick to go to a conference, adding that something should have been done to end the disunity in the party

He described the ANC as a sick athlete, "unfit for the race he must compete in".

"We will do everything we can to ensure that we strengthen the symbiotic historical relationship the ANC must have with our people through this conference and beyond," said secretary general of the MK National Council Thabang Makwetla.

Makwetla wouldn't comment on their preferred candidate for the position, merely stating the leadership characteristics they felt the next ANC leader should possess.

'Interests of the country'

Among those, was a familiarity with the goals and ethos of the organisation, an ability to unify structures of the movement, help the organisation regain its moral rectitude, and restore it to its former glory.

Makwetla said that the ruling party should not be reckless with the conference, but rather use it as a platform to self-correct. He said the fortune and fate of the country was in their hands.

"They must put forward the interests of the country. They must think about the country and the people, before their branch colleagues," he said.

Makwetla said there was a need for a leadership that would cultivate links and relationships between the ANC and other forces in different sectors to further the transformation of SA and to stop the decline of the economy.

The ANC is due to hold its 54th policy conference from Saturday, where branch delegates are due to vote on their preferred presidential candidate to replace President Jacob Zuma, who steps down as president of the party.

The frontrunners are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The hotly contested presidential race has been marred by accusations of voter buying and delegate bribing.

Vote rigging

Although the executive could not confirm that they had seen evidence of vote rigging or delegate buying, they said that having a special conference before this weekend would have helped to resolve this challenge.

Keith Mokoape said that the meeting would have helped resolve some challenges within the ANC, such as vote buying, by establishing rules around it that everyone had to agree to, as well as sanctions if the rules were violated.

The idea of a special conference before the policy conference was pitched and rejected by an ANC majority.

The council members welcomed the recent state capture ruling by Judge Dunstan Mlambo, urging Zuma to adhere to the ruling of the court, and expedite the appointment of a commission of inquiry.

The MK Council, which is led by former MK and SANDF chief General Siphiwe Nyanda, split from Kebby Maphatsoe's uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in 2016, over concern with the direction being taken by Maphatsoe.

The council said they could not take a position on whether Zuma should be recalled, but that - despite the outcome of the conference - they hoped that the January 8 rally would inspire hope.