We want a consultative conference in September - ANC stalwarts

Decision of stalwarts not to participate in policy conference also based on failure of Zuma, says veteran

We want a consultative conference in September - ANC stalwarts

29 June 2017

Johannesburg – The ANC stalwarts and veterans, who are boycotting the consultative conference ahead of the party's policy conference, want to hold the event at a later date. They want a national consultative conference to be held in September.

The stalwarts and veterans had decided to boycott the first two days of the policy conference set aside for a consultative conference.

ANC veteran Murphy Morobe said veterans had requested time to engage with discussion documents to develop a common understanding of the crisis in the ANC.

Morobe said at a press briefing at Constitutional Hill on the eve of the ANC policy conference that the decision of stalwarts not to participate on the first two days was also based on the failure of President Jacob Zuma to raise the proposed separation of the policy conference from the consultative conference as previously promised.

"It is a simple fact that there was no planning... It was told to us the two days would be us to raise our concerns. We said it’s more than just our concerns... It was clear in our discussions with the delegation of the NEC, that there was no intention of allowing for a real consultative conference."

Morobe added that it was clear that the party's top six officials had no intentions of hosting a consultative conference because there was no communication or planning.

"The policy conference takes place against the backdrop of an ANC leadership doing all it can to skirt the issue of the extent of outrage within our communities and the movement against the state capture project that had become more and more brazen."

Reacting the stalwarts and veterans, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, at a separate press briefing, lambasted them saying that they are not real structures of the ANC but cadres of the struggle. "We created the two days for the diagnosis of the health of the ANC… When they walked away from that opportunity, we decided to keep those two days.

"Many of those veterans are invited to the conference in [a] different status in various categories. They will be among many organisations, [but] not necessarily organisations of the ANC. The intention is not to close people out, it’s to get as many views as possible," Mantashe said.

He said stalwarts and veterans had missed an opportunity to voice their concerns.

The stalwarts also used their briefing to criticise Zuma for not taking action against ministers embroiled in the leaked Gupta emails saga.  Radebe and requesting of genitals

Former ANC deputy secretary general Cheryl Carolus said it was shocking that even when Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe allegedly requested pictures of the genitals of a young subordinate, Zuma did not take action to discipline him.

"Why is that a cabinet minister appointed by him, can ask a young woman who is a subordinate for photographs of her genitals and there are no consequences?"

She said ANC policies have been undermined and slaughtered through state capture, corruption as well as presidential cabinet appointees who are found wanting.

"The president has in fact taken it upon himself to more and more appoint his cronies and those who facilitate his private and cronies looting of state resources. There are no consequences for those who are found to be wanting in implementation of these policies."

Corolus said she found it alarming that newspaper articles which have made serious allegations against cabinet ministers and the Gupta’s have not been investigated.

"Until this day, nobody has refuted these claims... We must as the public at large believe that they are irrefutable facts.

"Why has the president and the national executive committee (NEC) not disciplined these people. I would have expected the president to lead the charge to fire those people implicated and institute criminal proceedings against those people," she said.

Morobe said veterans were also concerned about the systematic emasculation of law enforcement agencies that have been rendered powerless and ineffective to carry out their duties.

"How else do you explain the fact that in all that we now know, we are yet to hear or see any convincing movement in the part of those who meant to protect us and our democracy, taking actions to bring anybody culpable to book?"