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Sat Nov 01 11:45:41 SAST 2014

'ANC more about lobbying than work'

AMUKELANI CHAUKE | 14 November, 2012 00:02
WE'RE DOING FINE: A reader says President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, do not need to adopt foreign policies as the ANC policy structure puts people first Picture: DANIEL BORN

Former ANC Youth League president Lulu Johnson has called on younger members of the ruling party to respect their elders.

He said the party should, at its elective conference in Mangaung next month, reserve top posts for those who had the necessary age and experience .

Johnson - chairma n of the parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture, fisheries and forestry - said ANC members were devoting more time to lobbying for their factions than on their core duties .

Even before the branch nominations were opened last month, two lobby groups emerged - one wanting President Jacob Zuma to be retained for a second term and the other, dubbed the ABZ or the Anyone But Zuma, seeking that his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, succeed him.

In what could be seen as an indirect swipe at Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Johnson said ANC members should abide by the "unwritten rule" of nominating candidates on the basis of their age and experience.

Johnson became president of the ANC Youth League in 1994 and served in that position for two years. He was replaced by Malusi Gigaba, now the minister of public enterprise.

Johnson is the only former league president after 1991 who has not been elevated to higher positions within the ruling party.

He said the factions were destroying the party.

"Imagine an arrangement [in which] Kgalema Motlanthe takes over from Jacob Zuma after he serves his last term.

"Would we need to have people talking about getting people airtime, bribes? Going to all sorts of factional meetings?"

He said the ANC would never have survived as a movement had it been saddled with the same degree of pettiness in its infancy.

"Because you would not be [spending all that time] contesting, there would not be a need for you to contest the president.

"Why must we rush? We are rushing precisely because of expediency."

Asked how he felt about being overlooked for leadership opportunities, he said: "You are talking to a majority of us. I believe that I am mature enough to not really be affected by those things.

"I'm fine where I am. It is the movement that deploys; it is the movement that redeploys.

"There are members who are more senior than me, who are not even in parliament and some of whom, [while they] are in parliament, are not the chairman of any committee," Johnson said.

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