Stalwarts, veterans call on ANC to wake country from ‘nightmare’

Open letter appeals to NEC to seriously consider removing the President

Johannesburg – ANC stalwarts and veterans have pleaded with the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to show leadership over serious state capture concerns, ahead of its meeting on Friday and Saturday.

They have asked the NEC in an open letter to seriously consider removing President Jacob Zuma and "all those who are party to this Project of State Capture".

"The ANC, dear comrades, is falling apart as you meet and the country, supporters and members of the ANC are looking for leadership that must and should take us out of this nightmare," said struggle stalwart Wally Serote.

In a separate letter to Zuma, they do not ask him to step down, but remind him of the undertaking he made at their last meeting on a separate National Consultative Conference (NCC), stemming from concerns over the direction the party was taking.

The letters were sent by Serote on Thursday.

Two days of the ANC's policy conference in June have been set aside to discuss organisational renewal, where the stalwarts are expected to participate, but they remain unhappy with the proposal. They want a stand-alone consultative conference, and for the current leadership to step down.

The stalwarts and veterans felt no progress had been made, after a commitment in November, and after four subsequent meetings.

"Instead, the delegation of the veterans and stalwarts, together with the representative of the MK Council, were subjected to insults and abuse which are the antithesis of what the ANC we know is all about," they said.

"Of particular concern was the fact that one of the officials was tasked to 'profile' all the veterans and stalwarts who are part of the '101 plus'. This is taken seriously, in the light of the political killings mainly in the KZN province, and the threats to Comrade Makhosi Khoza and other ANC members."

'Shadow government'

Serote said in the letter that if the NEC did not agree to have a separate NCC, they would consider calling for a national "dialogue" to discuss the crisis in the ANC and the country.

The letter calls on the NEC to remember what Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng had said about the conduct required - in terms of the Constitution - of Zuma and parliamentary members, when he delivered his judgment on Nkandla a year ago.

"It is therefore imperative for the members of the NEC to think long and hard, and with all honesty, about whether members of Parliament have, by absolving the president, lived up to the expectations of the people of South Africa."

The stalwarts and veterans said the NEC should unequivocally condemn projects that created parallel governance structures, like a "shadow government", which served individual interests and was not accountable to the people.

They intended to interact with all levels of the movement across the country to defend "the gains of our revolution".

Serote said they would do this as committed members of the ANC, who wanted to see the party return to its values and principles.