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Zuma calls for cleansing of ANC

30 June 2017 - 15:08 By Neo Goba
ANC President Jacob Zuma addresses delegates during the opening of the ANC Policy Conference at Nasrec.
ANC President Jacob Zuma addresses delegates during the opening of the ANC Policy Conference at Nasrec.
Image: Masi Losi/Sunday Times

ANC president Jacob Zuma has called on the party to cleanse itself from all the “negative tendencies” that are creeping into the party.

"To restore and maintain its character‚ the ANC needs to cleanse itself from the negative tendencies that have crept in over the years.

“These tendencies - which have been outlined before - include patronage‚ corruption‚ social distance‚ factionalism‚ abuse of power and membership system anomalies such as the reported manipulation of the membership data‚ gate keeping and bulk buying of membership‚" said Zuma.

He was speaking at the party's 5th national policy conference at Nasrec‚ south of Johannesburg which commenced on Friday.

Zuma said the ANC needed to resolve its difficulties and continue with its mission to transform South Africa and build a better life for all.

Turning to factionalism‚ Zuma said this was "a cancer that must be rooted out" of the party because it had tarnished the ANC's image.

"It has caused splits from the ANC which has negatively affected us both quantitatively and qualitatively. Slate politics‚ another manifestation of factionalism‚ has cost us many good and capable comrades in whom our movement has invested significantly‚" Zuma added.

About 4‚000 ANC members‚ alliance partners and invited guests will seek to find policy solutions at the forum on issues such as radical economic transformation and land expropriation without compensation.

The six day policy conference is designed to encourage mass participation in shaping the direction the party and the government takes.

The ANC has become increasingly divided over Zuma's leadership in recent months due to a string of corruption scandals‚ diminishing public support and economic instability caused partly by a cabinet reshuffle in March which saw respected former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas‚ being axed.

Before he took to the podium‚ Zuma shared some lighter moments with his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and the party's top six.

On his arrival‚ Zuma was welcomed along with his wife Bongi Ngema with ululations from thousands of members.