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ANC will bleed to death if Zuma does not take action

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 2012-01-19 00:06:39.0
President Jacob Zuma

The Times Editorial: Is Jacob Zuma incontrol and in charge of the ANC? If he is, then how does one explain the conduct of a senior member of his administration at Luthuli House, who defied party discipline by publicly questioning some of the president's decisions?

Last Sunday, the ANC's treasurer-general, Mathews Phosa, openly broke ranks with party leaders on disciplinary issues relating to embattled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema as well as the cabinet's decision to put five Limpopo provincial government departments under administration.

A statement issued by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe following a meeting of the ANC's top six leaders in whichPhosa's statements were discussed earlier this week shows there are deep divisions at the top.

Phosa's dressing-down has the potential to widen the cracks in the organisation.

Party members on the ground who, during the organisation's centenary celebrations in Mangaung, were promised a new ANC and told to build unity in the party's structures, must be asking themselves what to make of this public bickering among their senior leaders.

It seems the unity being asked for from party members cannot be found at the top.

If Zuma is unable to foster one voice among his trusted comrades at the top and his secretary-general speaks of "snakes" in the national executive committee, one is left wondering whether trust among ANC leaders really exists.

Talk suggests that the leadership race is the source of everything that is wrong with the party. It is said that the "open revolt" against Zuma by the likes of Phosa is nothing but political posturing ahead of the party's elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Zuma cannot afford to lo se control of his inner circle at Luthuli House.

The "speak-with-one-voice" policy that he and Mantashe demand from ANC members should be seen to be taking place at the top.

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