ANC Mangaung conference latest news Day 1
Here are the latest news on ANC's conference taking place in Mangaung.
Apartheid was not better: Mantashe
Those who say South Africa was better under apartheid do not understand the history of the country, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday.
"There are serious offences [levelled] against the ANC. Some people say nothing has changed since 1994," he told delegates at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.
"You say 'this ANC' [is worse]. You are 25 and 30, which ANC do you know?"
Mantashe criticised ANC members who were "rude, disrespectful and who manipulate processes".
"The impact of manipulating processes is that it deprives a lot of ANC members [of their rights in the party]," he said.
"You [who manipulate] want a pre-determined outcome. We must deal with this behaviour."
Mantashe said certain delegates said they wanted change in the party's leadership.
"People say they want change and they do this and this," he said holding up two fingers and rolling his hands.
"Here, they change their names from members, and they become delegates. Once you enter this hall you have a lot of power.
"It is not our call about a change in leadership. It is your call."
Mantashe said the party was criticised for the late delivery of textbooks.
"In apartheid there was one person with a book and he was a teacher," he said. "This is a different crisis, it is not the same [as under apartheid]."
Mantashe said intellectuals produced by the ANC had to strengthen the party.
"Intellectuals must strengthen the movement. We need a strong ANC."
Mantashe said intellectuals produced by the ANC should not see it fashionable to predict the demise of the party.
He roasted leaders who were quoted in newspapers as sources.
"Leaking information is dangerous. What kind of leader are you, if you read newspapers and you adopt a new English name... You must state your name."
Slate politics weaken ANC: Mantashe
Slate politics continue to weaken the African National Congress, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday.
"Good cadres of the movement fall through the cracks because they happen to be on the wrong slate," said Mantashe.
"Slate politics, whether they benefit me or benefit another person, weaken the movement."
Mantashe said the practice of electing people by list also weakened the leadership.
He was delivering his organisational report to the national conference of the African National Congress at Mangaung in the Free State.
Mantashe said the ANC had to explain to its branches and their delegates that they needed to elect people based on their capacity.
In the last five years some "deviant" behaviour had been tolerated in the quest for unity, he said.
He recalled how the Veterans League advised the ANC to tighten discipline during the national general council (NGC) in 2010.
The NGC had also asked leaders to be more decisive on the issue of discipline. The party had come a long way in heeding the advice of the NGC, Mantashe said.
"Focus... must be on deeper democracy and appreciate that the elective conferences are part of the democratic tradition of the ANC.
"The focus should never be on personality, it should be on sharpening that tool," he said.
The ANC had a responsibility to strengthen its processes.
Voters don't own leaders: Mantashe
Voters should not view the leaders they elected as their property, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday.
"When electing, people tend to pretend to be owning the candidate. They think that now that we've delivered you to leadership, then you should follow our thinking," he told his party's national conference in Mangaung in the Free State.
"In this conference we'll elect leaders who will be leaders of the ANC for those who support it and those who do not."
Mantashe explained to the conference why the ANC had taken action against former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
One of the reasons was his utterances against the ruling party.
Factionalism affects ANC: Mantashe
Factions that break away from the ANC affect the organisation, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday.
"In this conference, it is quite important to never elevate disagreement to enmity," he told delegates at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.
"It means that after five years [at the next conference] people will break away. The ANC is huge, but splinters that break away reduce the weight of the movement."
He said members, if they disagreed with one another, needed to talk matters out.
"Talk to each other. When someone talks, don't howl him down."
He said factionalism in the party was part of the aftermath of the previous conference in Polokwane and the recall of president Thabo Mbeki.
Ponder mining proposals: Mantashe
ANC delegates at the party's national conference had to apply their minds to the proposals made on mining, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said.
He said the party acknowledged the resolution of the ANC Youth League to nationalise mines and a decision by the national general council (NGC) to research the matter.
"Here is another opportunity to apply your minds and improve [the proposal]," Mantashe told the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.
At the African National Congress policy conference earlier this year "wholesale" nationalisation was rejected.
Strategic nationalisation was proposed, which included more state intervention. The ANC also called for more state intervention.
Mantashe said a state mining company was developed after its 2007 elective conference in Polokwane.
Delegates had to remember that state-owned company could not make a profit, he said.
Land redistribution target will not be reached: Zuma
The ANC will not be able to reach its target for land redistribution set at its last conference in Polokwane in 2007, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"We are not likely to achieve the 2014 target due to a number of factors such as the fundamental policy design flaws in the 'willing buyer, willing seller' paradigm," he told delegates at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.
At the previous conference, the party set out to redistribute 30 percent of the country's agricultural land by 2014.
Zuma said delegates at the conference needed to deliberate on the best way to address this.
"This conference should produce a resolution that should answer the land question faster and within the ambit of the law."
Regional economy important: Zuma
The regional economy and growth on the African continent are important to the South African government, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"Our focus is now on further industrialisation of the continent, to expand growth drivers beyond mining, oil and agriculture.
"The massive growth in African consumption provides a source of demand for African factories," he said.
Zuma said the 2007 Polokwane conference of the African National Congress took a resolution that the country's economy should be integrated with the Southern African Development Community.
Last year South Africa hosted 26 heads of state to launch talks on a free trade area stretching from Cape Town to Cairo, Zuma said.
He said both the public and private sectors had increased investment in Africa.
"To take forward the African agenda, we have escalated our continental focus on infrastructure to the level of heads of state and government through the Nepad committee that we lead," he said.
Watch tenders: Zuma
The tender system is an area of vulnerability in the government, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"Even a granny in a rural area knows about a tender," he said in isiZulu during his political report.
"Conference may wish to deliberate on tendering, which is often open to abuse currently."
Zuma said the campaign against corruption was continuing and the government had established institutions that probed corruption.
"Our country is one of the most transparent societies when it comes to the fight against corruption, it is talked about often in the public domain."
He urged South Africans to help bodies like the Special Investigating Unit, and the police.
Zuma bemoans textbook saga
The late delivery of school textbooks must never be repeated, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"The delivery of textbooks must improve," he told delegates at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.
"The failure to deliver books to grades three, six, nine and 10 this year in Limpopo is an occurrence that must not be repeated."
School teachers needed to be more diligent with their jobs, he said.
"Some measures introduced by government... to improve school performance include the training of teachers and principals," he said.
"Let me repeat the call to our teachers that they should be in school, in class, on time teaching for seven hours every school day of the year."
This would be enforced.
He said the country's educational focus should be at the foundation phase.
"If the foundation is not firm, the house is not firm," Zuma said.
Zuma declares Mangaung conference open
President Jacob Zuma declared the ANC's national conference open on Sunday after delivering his political report.
Delegates at the conference clapped and cheered as he finished.
Zuma broke out into song.
"Its a long journey we have taken. Mandela told his followers that we will meet on Freedom Day," Zuma sang.
Ramaphosa to run for ANC deputy president post at Mangaung
Politician-turned-businessman Cyril Ramaphosa will contest for the post of deputy president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), a senior party official said on Sunday.
“He is running,” the official told Reuters.
This adds a new element to the internal leadership contest at an ANC conference, in which President and party leader Jacob Zuma is expected to head off a challenge to his own position from Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Handle the alliance with care: Zuma
The alliance between the ANC, the SACP and Cosatu needs to be handled with care, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"If we don't take care we will polarise the alliance," he said in Mangaung.
"Understand that we are allies and not opponents. Neither the Congress of SA Trade Unions, or the SA Communist Party are in opposition with the African National Congress."
Zuma said the alliance needed to refrain from public spats and "shouting from podiums".
"Direct engagement would yield results and strengthen the alliance."
There needed to be a collective understanding from everyone in the alliance, Zuma said.
He was opening the 53rd national conference of the ANC
ANC an economic leader: Zuma
The African National Congress will continue to provide strong economic leadership, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"It will steer our economy boldly, and we do have a plan to grow the economy and create jobs," Zuma said, delivering his political report to the party's 53rd national conference in Mangaung.
"The destination we are heading towards is a mixed economy, where the state, private capital, co-operative and other forms of social ownership complement each other in an integrated way to eliminate poverty and foster shared economic growth."
Zuma said development finance institutions were placing jobs at the centre of their mandates.
"We established the presidential state-owned enterprises review committee which undertook a study of state owned enterprises (SOE), including the role of SOEs in a developmental state."
Zuma said the government was busy amending the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.
"We also agreed to revise the points in the scorecards so that we prioritise local industrial development, skills and small business development."
National Development Plan creates certainty: Zuma
The national development plan (NDP) creates certainty for South Africa's future, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"We now have a plan that has been welcomed by all sectors and not just government and the ruling party alone," he told delegates at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.
"It is for this reason that we should always make sure that our people, the motive forces, remain focused around our national development vision, otherwise society may lose sense of direction."
The NDP was a map of "where the country is going".
"Now that the plan is there, we [the ANC] must hold it with both hands."
Zuma dismissed rumours that the downgrading of the country's credit rating was a sign the country was unstable.
"We will not delve into the reasons for downgrading, but we want to dismiss the perceptions that our country is falling apart because of the downgrades," he said.
"We continue to do our development work, we continue to plan for a recovery."
ANC to look at renewal: Zuma
The ANC's national conference will deliberate on various organisational renewal proposals, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"These recommendations are designed to strengthen the position of the ANC as a disciplined force of the left with a bias towards poor and working class, and also as a leader of society," he said in Mangaung.
"It will also include recommendations on how we should fight corruption and promote ethics and integrity within the ANC as well, instead of leaving... [it] to government alone."
He said he hoped the conference would adopt the proposal that the next 10 years be dedicated to the "decade of the cadre".
"We are now running government. We need a cadre that understands how to run government."
Zuma said the person who ran the government needed to have political understanding and "govern the country properly".
Zuma was opening the 53rd national conference of the African national Congress.
Marikana violence show country's flaws: Zuma
The violence in Marikana exposed the country's flaws and inconsistencies, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"At a political level, the Marikana tragedy exposed the organisational challenges we face both at the workplace and in the community," he said at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.
"We need to avoid the danger of distance between leaders and members, both at the workplace and in the communities."
Opening the conference, Zuma said the Marikana shooting exposed the "deep-rooted culture" of violence and intimidation that still existed in society, and was a "springboard" for further strikes in the mining sector.
On August 16, 34 miners were shot dead during a protest near the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West.
The ANC met chief executives from mining companies to look at the living conditions of mine workers.
"These labour strikes were illegal, violent and appeared designed to undermine collective bargaining in general and the National Union of Mineworkers in particular," said Zuma.
"We should engage our people more, even on the question of unacceptable violence that accompanies some of the strikes."
Zuma condemns violence by party members
President Jacob Zuma on Sunday condemned members who used violence to solve political disputes.
"It raises the question, what could be so much at stake that they would go so far to get their own way," he said in his opening address at the African National Congress' national elective conference in Mangaung in the Free State.
Zuma condemned the killing of ANC members, as well as the "alien tendencies" of people who tried to buy the support of the ANC.
They are turning ANC members into "commodities".
An ANC North West official, David Mosiane Chika, 33, was shot dead outside his house in Alabama, Klerksdorp on Friday morning.
Zuma also condemned members who took the ANC to court when they were "not happy".
Zuma sends best wishes to Madiba
President Jacob Zuma sent best wishes to former president Nelson Mandela in his opening speech at the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung on Sunday.
"He has received good care from a competent medical team. We wish him and his family the best."
He also saluted the efforts of the military veterans in the African National Congress for "sacrificing" to bring freedom to South Africans.
"We salute all generals... many who have sacrificed their lives for liberation."
Zuma addresses divisions within ANC
The lead-up to the ANC's last national conference five years ago was fraught with divisions, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"The road to Polokwane was full of division and turbulence," he said during his political report.
"It was necessary that we start healing the organisation and working for unity after the conference."
Zuma became president of the ANC at the Polokwane conference, defeating former president Thabo Mbeki.
He said the new leadership elected at Polokwane had to go to each province and heal the divisions.
"Some successes were made while some provinces still have pockets of factionalism and disunity," he said.
Singer reminds delegates of Ras Dumisani for 'butchering national anthem' at ANC conference
The woman who sang the national anthem at the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung on Sunday did not get rave reviews on social networking site Twitter.
University of the Free State rector Jonathan Jansen, whose campus is hosting the event, tweeted: "Oh no bring back Cde Ras Dumisani to rather sing the national anthem", in reference to Dumisani's off-key performance of the anthem ahead of a rugby test between South Africa and France in November 2009.
The woman's name could not immediately be established.
Another tweet read: "Comrade Bushy from ANC conference can't sing the National Anthem she reminds me of Ras Dumisani butchering our anthem."
Dumisani's version was described as a "hilariously, off-key rendition" in the media.
Zelda la Grange, former president Nelson Mandela's personal assistant tweeted: "This chick can't sing for shit! #Mangaung" haha!!! Ouch!"
Twitter user Khaya Dlanga wrote: "That lady who led the singing of the National Anthem sang like she was a goat about to be slaughtered", to which another replied that he was being kind to the goat.
Twitter was also flooded with updates from people at the conference.
Those who tweeted from the plenary venue, including journalists and editors, spoke about party leaders arriving, the songs being sung, what delegates were wearing, and what they talked about.
Journalist Carien du Plessis tweeted: "Gwede Mantashe arrives in black Beemer. He has security guards in a white Corolla. They get out fast, he gets out slow #ANC2012."
Geoffrey York wrote: "Singing and foot-stomping by pro-Zuma delegates is drowning out any hint of dissent at #Mangaung in main plenary tent."
Delegates in the tent, accommodating about 6000 people, helped increase the temperature as they shouted slogans and sang their favourite songs.
Jacanews noted:" #Mangaung Interfaith prayers now. Can't begin to describe how hot it is in this multi-level marquee tent."
ANC growing, membership at 1.2 million: Zuma
The ANC has grown phenomenally since the last national conferences, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"Present here are 4500 delegates representing thousands of branches located across the length and breadth of the country," he said during his political report.
"The ANC has grown... since the last two conferences."
Zuma said the party currently had about 1.22 million members in good standing.
"There might be more who forgot to renew their cards," he said chuckling.
ANC conference sings for Zuma, chant about Motlanthe 'going'
The marquee in Mangaung where the ANC is to hold its national conference vibrated with singing, the drone of vuvuzelas, whistling and feet stomping by noon on Sunday.
"We've heard the good news that the beard man (ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe) is going," delegates from the North West sang.
The province also chanted "Zuma, Zuma, Zuma".
The group of delegates from Limpopo joined the North West, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape in shouting for Zuma to get a second term.
A Limpopo delegate said: "Zuma for Limpopo. We want to show you that they robbed us (in Limpopo). We support Zuma's second term".
"Limpopo for Zuma," he shouted at journalists seated in front of him.
"I asked Motlanthe to decline [nomination]," another Limpopo delegate told Sapa.
Free State and Gauteng delegates sat watching quietly. The party's national executive committee watched from the stage.
Indications were that proceedings would get underway about three hours behind schedule.
The first item on the agenda, interfaith prayers, was supposed to have started at 8.30am. This would be followed by singing of the national anthem and the adoption of the conference programme and rules.
Zuma was supposed to have started delivering his political address at 9.30am.
Zuma arrives at conference in Mangaung
ANC President Jacob Zuma, dressed in a leather jacket, arrived to deafening cheers at the ruling party's national elective conference in Mangaung on Sunday afternoon.
Delegates stamped their feet, cheered and sang as Zuma, dressed in the African National Congress colours, shared a few words with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe before taking his seat.
Shortly before his arrival, ANC chairwoman Baleka Mbete asked delegates to settle down.
Delegates started chanting, "Zuma, Zuma", whistling and holding up two fingers, signalling for him to get a second term.
I want my money back: businessman feels "short-changed" at ANC conference
A businessman at the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung on Sunday demanded his money back from the party because he was "short-changed".
"I am going to complain and claim my money back... not only is the conference very late, but it is so disorganised," said Alfie Heeger, managing director of African Sanitation, a company that builds solar-powered toilets.
"Myself and colleagues missed the breakfast event because the transport meant to bring us here is a mess."
Heeger's company was one of the many businesses that paid hefty amounts of money to be at the conference. Companies forked out at least R500 000 to sit with President Jacob Zuma and other top party leaders at Saturday night's gala dinner.
A few blocks from the business marquee, vendors selling African National Congress-branded clothing had set up shop.
Maria Ngubeni travelled from Soweto to sell her wares.
"I invested my children's school fees...I am hoping for a return on that investment."
Her wares included branded t-shirts, dresses, hats, earrings, and key holders.
President Jacob Zuma was expected to deliver the party's political report shortly, followed by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe's organisational report.
On Sunday night delegates would nominate their preferred candidates for the African National Congress's top six officials, according to the programme.
The electoral commission would then reveal who had accepted nomination. Delegates would also get to nominate candidates from the floor, provided this was supported by 25 percent of those present.
ANC bars Free State leadership from Mangaung
ANC policy head Jeff Radebe on Saturday night confirmed the party leadership of the Free State would not attend the national elective conference in Mangaung.
Radebe said the national executive committee (NEC) would uphold the rule of law and acknowledge the independence of the Constitutional Court.
"The Constitutional Court is the finale decision maker on constitutional matters. "It is the final on this matter."
Radebe said all Free State delegates to conference considered to be provincial executive committee (PEC) members from the June 2012 conference in Parys would not be allowed.
Free State ANC chairman Ace Magashule would attend the conference as an elected NEC member.
Manuel declines NEC nomination: report
Planning minister Trevor Manuel has declined a nomination to the ANC's national executive committee, according to a report
City Press reported on Sunday that Manuel said he wanted to play a "different role" and believed the African National Congress's values were being destroyed by the current competition for leadership.
"After 21-and-a-half years, you ask: do I still have the hunger?" Manuel told City Press.
"It is time for young people to come through the system. I want to try and mentor. I feel there's a duty to do that now. If everything is a competition, you destroy values (as is being done now).
"If this happens, you cannot draw on the skills and expertise (of people who leave after brutal competition). This was clear at Polokwane."
He said it was time for younger leaders to take over, that the party's policy-making was poor, and that Parliament was weak, City Press reported.
Manuel took the decision "as a matter of principle".
Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin and Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi also announced on Saturday that they had declined nominations, the newspaper reported.
Manuel added that in the world of politics "logic does not always reign supreme".
According to City Press, Manuel wanted a smaller NEC of "fewer cadres and better-quality discussions". He said Parliament was "weak" at overseeing the making of policy, and implementation.
The ANC's conference starts on Sunday morning.
ANC delegates arrive for conference
Delegates started arriving at the University of the Free State for the ANC's national elective conference on Sunday.
Small groups of ANC members in black and white party T-shirts trekked through the campus to the cricket field where the main plenary tent was set up.
The conference was expected to start at 8.30am.
President Jacob Zuma would deliver his political report in the morning followed by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe's organisational report.
On Sunday night, delegates would nominate their preferred candidates for the African National Congress' top six officials.
The electoral commission would also reveal who had accepted nomination.
Delegates would also get to nominate candidates from the floor provided the motion was supported by 25 percent of the conference.