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Thu Jul 31 13:29:17 SAST 2014

ANC Mangaung conference latest news Day 5

Sapa | 20 December, 2012 10:23
Delegates react as newly re-elected president of the ANC, Jacob Zuma's name is announced as the party's president during the ANC's 53rd National Conference at the University of the Free State in Mangaung.
Image by: Daniel Born

Here is the latest news on ANC's conference taking place in Mangaung.

Zuma warns dissidents in closing address Sapa

ANC President Jacob Zuma vowed on Thursday to root out factionalism and to "deal" with dissidents and members challenging the ruling party in court.

"Through political education and cadre development as well as decisive action against ill-discipline, we will be able to root out all the tendencies that we have identified over the years," he said in his closing address to the African National Congress' 53rd national elective conference in Mangaung in the Free State.

"These include factionalism, the sowing of disunity and confusion within the movement, the use of money to buy members, positions or influence in the organisation, the hurling of insults or even worse, the attacks on members of the ANC."

Zuma announced that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who failed in his bid to challenge the presidency at the conference, would head up a political education programme for the party.

"We must move away from saying how important political education is, to actually implementing the decisions...

"We will be able to deal with the comrades who disrupt ANC meetings and those who want the ANC to be now run on technicalities and through the courts."

He said he discussed the political education programme with the newly elected deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Motlanthe, the former deputy president of the party.

"We are pleased to announce that former deputy president Motlanthe will lead this crucial ANC political education programme. We thank the former deputy president," said Zuma, to applause from delegates.

He said the ANC would be building "cadres who respect actions taken by the movement to enforce discipline against others, who know the implications of working with members who have been expelled from the organisation, assisting them to undermine the organisation.

"There must be consequences for such ANC members," said Zuma.

Zuma referred back to the Polokwane conference when the ANC assumed that all members were in agreement with the outcome and that the party members would work for unity.

He said the process of collectively understanding the democratic principles and internal democracy that prevailed within the movement was not monitored.

“We must not repeat that mistake.”

Zuma said unity within the ANC would not happen automatically and its members would have to work hard for it.

Zuma reminded delegates ANC members had a right to be nominated for any position in the movement and to accept or decline nominations.

“Therefore, no member or leader of the ANC should be ostracised for exercising their democratic rights as members,” said Zuma.

Turning to the Leagues of the ANC, Zuma said they should implement the work and resolutions of the Mangaung conference, the final version of which was yet to be released.

"There are other very important outstanding organisational issues for us to look at in the new year.

"For example the conference has in its wisdom, taken a decision that the incoming NEC must discuss the matter of the ANC Youth League. We appreciate that decision and the spirit in which it was taken."

He congratulated the newly elected leadership of the ANC and thanked the outgoing leaders.

He also wished former president Nelson Mandela well, saying he was in good care as he spent a 13th day in hospital.

Zuma broke into song as he ended his closing address.

"It's a long walk, Mandela said to his followers. We will meet on freedom day," he sang.

Delegates in the marquee joined in as they waved African National Congress flags and blew whistles and danced.

They cheered as Zuma repeated the song, which he also sang when he opened the conference on Sunday.

Zuma ends conference with song Sapa

President Jacob Zuma broke into song as he ended his closing address at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung on Thursday.

"It's a long walk, Mandela said to his followers. We will meet on freedom day," he sang.

Delegates in the marquee joined in as they waved African National Congress flags and blew whistles and danced.

They cheered as Zuma repeated the song, which he also sang when he opened the conference on Sunday.

Zuma used his closing address to send well wishes to former president Nelson Mandela, who was spending his 13th day in a Pretoria hospital on Thursday.

"As we all know, Comrade Madiba is an unparalleled fighter and has always been so.

"He has met all his health challenges with his tremendous fortitude and grace.

"He appreciates the support of the whole nation during this difficult period. We wish him a speedy recovery and assure his family that he remains foremost in our thoughts," said Zuma.

He was responding well to treatment, added Zuma.

"He... has steadily improved over the few days."

He said Mandela had a recurring lung infection and had to undergo a procedure to remove gallstones.

"He is receiving the best care possible," he said.

Earlier, Zuma hailed the ANC's 53rd national elective conference as a success.

He said an integrity commission for the ANC would be formed within three months.

"On safeguarding core values, conference has directed the NEC to develop... the integrity commission within three months of the conference."

He said "code of conduct" booklets would be circulated in all ANC branches by 2013.

"This will go a long way in promoting ethical behaviour [in the ANC]."

Zuma vows to fight poverty Sapa

The ANC has undertaken to overcome poverty and unemployment in the next five years, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"The ANC will transform the economy to address basic needs of our people, especially women and children."

The ANC welcomed the National Development Plan as a "critical base" for development to build a prosperous South Africa, he said.

The state would continue to lead in infrastructure development to help fight unemployment.

Motlanthe to lead political education Sapa

Former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe will lead the party's political education programme, President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday.

Zuma said the leader had to be a "seasoned cadre of the movement" who knew about the African National Congress.

"We discussed this with deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former deputy Kgalema Motlanthe," Zuma said in his closing address at the ANC's 53rd national elective conference.

"We thank the former deputy president for availing himself for this critical task," he said to cheers from delegates.

Root out factionalism: Zuma Sapa

The ANC must root out factionalism in the ruling party, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"We will be rooting out all the tendencies... these include factionalism, sowing of disunity and the use of money to buy members and to buy positions or even worse, the attack on members of the ANC," he said in his closing speech at the national elective conference in Mangaung in the Free State.

He warned that the party would deal with members who disrupted ANC meetings.

ANC renewing itself: Zuma Sapa

The ANC was ready to renew itself as it entered the "second transition" to a more democratic society, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday as he closed the party's 53rd elective conference in Mangaung.

"We are ready for that task of a radically transformed society. The incoming national executive committee will begin to process and implement the directives on organisational renewal and institutionalise political education."

He hailed the conference in Mangaung as "very successful".

"We conclude our business on a high note, satisfied that we have achieved the objectives we have set for ourselves at the beginning of the conference," Zuma said.

He congratulated the newly elected leadership of the African National Congress.

"As incoming leadership we are humbled by the confidence showed by the branches of the ANC in us.

"We will do our best in our task on behalf of the membership and guided by the membership," Zuma said.

He thanked the outgoing leaders.

"[They] contributed immensely to the growth and success of the movement in the last five years, at times in difficult conditions."

Zuma hails ANC conference as success Sapa

The ANC's national conference in Mangaung was "very successful", President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"We conclude our business on a high note, satisfied that we have achieved the objectives we have set for ourselves at the beginning of the conference," Zuma said in his closing address in Mangaung in the Free State.

He congratulated the newly elected leadership of the African National Congress.

"As incoming leadership we are humbled by the confidence showed by the branches of the ANC in us.

"We will do our best in our task on behalf of the membership and guided by the membership," Zuma said.

He thanked the outgoing leaders.

"[They] contributed immensely to the growth and success of the movement in the last five years, at times in difficult conditions."

ANC wants new language policy Sapa

The ANC wants the teaching of an indigenous language to be compulsory in all schools, social transformation sub-committee chairman Joe Phahla said on Thursday.

"We talking about official languages," he told reporters on the final day the African National Congress national conference in Mangaung.

"Once it is policy, even a school in Waterkloof would have to teach a language such as Tswana, for example."

Phahla said the language would depend on the region where the school was situated. Sesotho would, for example, be taught in the Free State.

Asked about the compulsory singing of the national anthem in schools, committee member Paul Mashatile said no decision was taken.

"We want to promote the singing of the national anthem. We have not yet made it compulsory but in some schools it is being sung daily already."

Mashatile said it was decided that the ANC itself should sing the full national anthem at every meeting to set an example -- and not just the part of Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika.

The committee also decided that all cultural practices not in line with the Human Rights Bill should be outlawed.

These included the custom of forced marriages of young girls, among others.

Mangaung sets ANC politics astir Sapa

As the ANC national conference in Mangaung ended on Thursday, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe's withdrawal from party leadership posts remained the most tantalising talking point.

While Jacob Zuma was re-elected to the party's top position, ousted youth league leader Julius Malema -- who had once promised to kill and/or die for Zuma -- had his expulsion seemingly sealed.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said a request by Malema and two of his dethroned colleagues for their positions back, would not be entertained.

The matter was "exhausted and finished", Mantashe said.

Motlanthe went up against and lost to Zuma for the role of party president. Motlanthe also withdrew his nomination for deputy party president. The position went to billionaire businessman and one of the original writers of the country's Constitution, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Holding up a peace sign in a photograph taken shortly after his defeat, Motlanthe later delivered a speech in which he termed the ANC "the epitome of democracy".

Motlanthe's future intentions baffled many when a short while after, he also declined nomination for any of the NEC's 80 positions.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said Motlanthe laughed off the suggestion that he would step down as the country's deputy president.

"I spoke to the deputy president. He just laughed and said: 'Where do they get these horror stories?'"

The success of slate voting seemed evident when the rest of the top six NEC positions were won by candidates closely aligned with Zuma.

Mantashe and Baleka Mbethe were re-elected to their positions as secretary-general and chairwoman respectively. Ramaphosa, along with Jessie Duarte as deputy secretary-general and Zweli Mkhize as treasurer-general, were the new faces at the top six table.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa said he had called for a review of his business dealings. He has his own company, Shanduka Holdings, and is chairman of the Bidvest Group and MTN, as well as the owner of the South African franchise of McDonalds.

"This is necessary to address any potential conflicts of interest, and to ensure that I can adequately perform the responsibilities of this position," he said.

Besides Motlanthe, several other prominent ANC members declined nomination for the NEC.

Others who said no included presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel, struggle stalwart Jay Naidoo and Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

A total of 295 nominees were put through for voting.

Party delegates were boisterous during the voting phase of the conference. When not waving fans to combat the heat, they sang and danced, praising candidates they liked and mocking those they did not.

However, everyone soon got down to business as policy discussions got underway.

ANC economic transformation policy commission head Malusi Gigaba said the conference had resolved that wholesale nationalisation was "off the table". There would be "strategic nationalisation" where necessary.

Fighting corruption was also raised as a key issue.

ANC constitutional affairs sub-committee chairman Collins Chabane said financial crimes by a party member would now feature in disciplinary procedures and lead to automatic expulsion.

ANC Gauteng secretary David Makhura said an integrity committee would be established in the next three months to deal with members accused of misconduct.

"The committee will help us nip corruption in the bud," he said.

There were also lighter moments at the conference. Opinions were divided on Twitter over whether the woman who sang the national anthem at the conference's opening sounded like a dying goose or a goat being slaughtered.

Zelda la Grange, former president Nelson Mandela's personal assistant, tweeted: "This chick can't sing for shit!". University of the Free State rector Jonathan Jansen, tweeted a request to "bring back Cde Ras Dumisani".

Dumisani is infamous for his off-key performance of the anthem ahead of a rugby test in 2009.

Mantashe was teased by journalists at a press briefing about whether a storm on Wednesday afternoon might be the result of the ANC's ancestors being upset.

"Rain is a blessing. A storm is rain in a different form," he replied.

Presidential commission to review role of provinces: Mfeketo Sapa

The ANC’s national conference has resolved to have an independent presidential commission review the role of provinces.

"This independent presidential commission needs to review, reform and strengthen provinces," legislature and governance commission chairwoman Nomaindia Mfeketo said on Thursday.

She told reporters in Mangaung delegates did not decide whether the number of provinces should be reduced in order to assist national governance.

"There is nothing to say that provinces must be reduced. You can’t reduce before the independent committee reviews [provinces]," Mfeketo said.

"The issue is not really on the agenda, it is something that the NGC [ANC national general council] would look at, and in 2019 would probably know how to go about it then."

In the last year, several provinces had been placed under administration by national government, primarily for financial and budgetary concerns.

At the ANC’s policy conference in June, several reports emerged that delegates at the conference agreed to reduce the number of provinces from nine to six.

Co-chair Lynne Brown said the reduction of provinces was not discussed at the commissions or plenary, and that she had only heard the idea from the media.

Mfeketo said there "needs to be a consideration" on what national government’s role would be for "unviable" municipalities.

"If there is a municipality that needs infrastructure and would not able to afford the infrastructure, there needs to be an intervention [by national government], even if it is once-off."

Municipalities that did not bring in revenue could be turned into district councils that dealt primarily with administration.

Mfeketo said a proposal for a single public service could become finalised within the next nine months.

"With the question of a single public service, we acknowledge that there are very complex issues," she said.

"We have given that process [of discussing a single public service] nine months to be finalised, together with [the other members of] the tripartite alliance."

She said the conference made a recommendation for a remuneration commission, which would chaired by judge, to examine remuneration in all public sectors.

"This will speed up the... [implementation] of a single public service."

Mfeketo said though the proposal for civil servants to be banned from business was not discussed in commissions, it was supported by the ANC.

The proposal for a single election was not adopted.

"The recommendation [of conference] is that we must have staggered elections," she said.

Mfeketo said aspects of an insurance scheme for councillors and their property had been discussed, but it was a work in progress.

She said councillors were the face of municipalities during service delivery protests and were often targeted by residents.

ANC plans to clean up disciplinary procedures Sapa

The ANC intends cleaning up disciplinary procedures in its constitution, constitutional affairs sub-committee chairman Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

"It was decided to put up systems to make it more clear for members and disciplinary procedures," he told reporters on the final day of the ANC's national conference in Mangaung.

Financial crimes by an African National Congress member would now feature in disciplinary procedures and lead to an automatic expulsion.

"What the constitution (now) says is if the court finds you guilty of corruption and any finance charges, the result would be expulsion."

Chabane said this would include fraud, theft of money, corruption, money laundering, racketeering and any other unlawful financial transgression decided by a competent court.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu added the ANC would deal decisively with people found guilty of financial transgressions.

Chabane said the party had decided to make the ANC's constitution, rules and guidelines accessible to more people.

"Majority of members know the rules and guidelines well... but part of resolution was to speedily make the constitution and guidelines available in all languages."

All the party's critical documentation would be made available in all 11 official languages, and "repackaged" to be more comprehensible.

Chabane said the changes to the constitution would go to the party’s national general council, which had the power to amend the document.

He made it clear that the ANC conference had accepted the Constitutional Court’s directions in a recent judgment that party members had the right to take the ANC to court.

Committee member Andries Nel said all amendments adopted would apply immediately.

This decision would have a mayor impact on the future of ANC members such as Northern Cape party leader John Block, who was facing fraud and corruption charges in the province.

Referring to legal action against the ANC, Chabane said it was found the party was mostly taken to court over political and administrative issues.

"We want to make sure the processes would be sufficient to have relief in the organisation so that we do not find that courts deal with party administrative and political issues," Chabane said.

The drafting of the new proposals into the ANC constitution would start immediately after Mangaung.

Chabane said the NEC had to approve the changes within six months. The moment they were accepted and approved, they would apply to members.

The new sanctions would not be retroactive, but affect issues currently being handled.

No plans for Motlanthe to leave: Mantashe Sapa

There has been no indication by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe that he is planning to step down from government, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

"There is no reason to indicate that [Motlanthe will step down as deputy president]," Mantashe told reporters in Bloemfontein, on the last day of the ANC's elective conference.

Mantashe said although Motlanthe was no longer deputy president of the African National Congress, and had declined a nomination for the party's national executive committee, his relationship with the party was not over.

"You can do many things in the party even if you are not in the NEC. We are not electing MPs here [in conference]. We are not reshuffling Cabinet."

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said he asked Motlanthe about reports he was stepping down from the government.

"I spoke to the deputy president. He just laughed and said: 'Where do they get these horror stories?'"

Mthembu said Motlanthe was deployed by the president, and would serve out the rest of his term.

"He is not that type of person [to step down]. That is not the Kgalema I know."

Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded Motlanthe as ANC deputy president on Tuesday.

According to a report by Business Day on Thursday, Mantashe said Ramaphosa would be a "de-facto prime minister" when he joined the government as deputy president in 2014.

He reportedly said Ramaphosa would hit the ground running as leader of government business.

Mantashe took issue with Business Day's report.

He told reporters it was not a given that Ramaphosa would be President Jacob Zuma's second in the government.

"There is no rule in the ANC that says that the deputy president of the ANC will be deputy president of the country," he said.

Mantashe said Ramaphosa's name was not on a parliamentary list that had been submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission and the list could only be amended next year.

"There is no Ramaphosa in the parliamentary list. We have not planned to amend the list."

During an interview with Business Day, Mantashe was asked if Ramaphosa would be deputy president.

"Cyril Ramaphosa will be deputy president. There is no policy to that effect in the ANC," Mantashe was quoted as saying.

"Cyril has acquired new skills that I have no in-depth understanding of, he is a businessman -- a shrewd businessman -- and that will give him the edge."

ANC finalising policies Sapa

Delegates at the ANC's national conference were finalising resolutions on constitutional amendments, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

Constitutional amendments was the "most difficult" discussion because it dealt with issues such as discipline, Mantashe told reporters in Bloemfontein.

The amendments were proposed by the organisational renewal policies at the African National Congress' national policy conference earlier this year.

More time would also be spent on discussing documents on economic transformation.

"The others [policies] are straight forward," he said.

The morning of the last day of conference will be spent with report-backs and adoption of all policies recommended.

On Wednesday evening the party had adopted the policy documents on organisational renewal and strategy and tactics, which included the "second phase of the transition".

Once all policies are adopted the ANC will announce its new 80-member national executive committee.

President Jacob Zuma will then give his closing address.

Mantashe said conference was estimated to finish around 3.30pm.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said there would be no lunch break on Thursday.

Delegates would be given a packed lunch to take with them on the road home, he said.

Some delegates travelling far decided to leave early on Thursday morning instead of waiting for the conference to officially close.

Many said they would listen to Zuma's closing address on the radio.

ANC sends condolences to delegates family Sapa

The ANC on Thursday sent condolences to the family of a delegate who died of natural causes during the party's elective conference being held in Mangaung.

Happy Ndinisa, from Barberton, Mpumulanga, died on Monday.

"His body has been flown home already. We send our deepest condolences to his family," said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Ndinisa will be buried on Sunday.

He is survived by his wife and three daughters.

Security at Mangaung a success: police sapa

The policing and securing of the ANC's Mangaung 2012 elective conference and surrounding communities have been successful, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Thursday.

"With a noticeable level of community participation and support, we received minimal reports of incidents," she said.

Phiyega said two cases of common assault were opened against police officers and would be investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

The alleged assaults were connected with police raids on the conference residences of delegates from North West province.

Phiyega said the security operations targeting the specific residences were intelligence driven.

"Investigations were ongoing and warrants were obtained for the searches," she said. To obtain a warrant police had to convince a magistrate that there was enough evidence to justify it.

Phiyega was also happy with the apprehension of four men who allegedly planned acts of terrorism directed at the conference.

Phiyega said the smooth running of the conference security operations was due to good co-operation of all conference attendees.

"The media came in large numbers and complied with our tight security requirements, aiding our ability to deliver the safe conference," said Phiyega.

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Thu Jul 31 13:29:17 SAST 2014 ::