Right ANC leadership needs to be elected: Nene

14 August 2017 - 16:26 By Neo Goba
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Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. File photo
Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. File photo

With more cracks in the African National Congress showing‚ the elective conference in December must ensure that the right leadership is elected in order to save the organisation from further splits.

This is according to former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene who was axed in December 2015 by President Jacob Zuma and resigned as a member of Parliament a few days later.

"If we make a mistake with the leadership we elect in December‚ we will not be in control of the country. It depends on how we get to December. If we continue with the route that we are on of factionalisim - and acrimonious in a way - we will end up with a divided ANC and I actually don’t want to contemplate the outcome of that‚" said Nene.

He was speaking on Monday to TimesLIVE on the sidelines on the first day of the 20th Southern African International Audit Conference in Sandton‚ hosted by the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa.

Nene‚ who has since ventured into the private sector‚ said the ANC still has time to rectify problems they face internally.

"But if we correct ourselves in the process - because there's still room for self correction - we are likely to come up with a leadership of unity. People always talk about a coalition government [and] I think as the ANC‚ we might come up with a coalition where we begin to say let’s throw away this factionalism and let’s work together… That would be the best outcome for the organisation‚" he said.

On August 8‚ the National Assembly held a secret ballot on a motion of no confidence in Zuma. A total of 177 MPs voted for Zuma to go‚ 198 voted for him to stay while 9 abstained from voting. It is alleged that about 30 ANC MPs voted for Zuma to be removed.

Nene defended those ANC MPs who voted against the motion‚ saying they did so to protect the party and not Zuma in particular.

"I don’t want to get personal with this‚ but this is a symptom of what we are dealing with. It not the man himself that we are dealing with‚ it is the ANC that we are dealing with here. Remember‚ it was a vote of no confidence on a person who‚ if it succeeded‚ would've continued to be the president of the ANC.

"When we protect the ANC at times‚ we protect the individual. So it’s not about the individual‚ it’s about how some people continue to be loyal to the organisation to the extent that even if it means protecting an individual‚ the ANC will be protected‚" Nene said.

Nene said the December elective conference must put the interests of people first rather than those of the party. At an elective congress in KwaZulu-Natal in November 2015‚ Zuma stated that the ANC came first.

"We can avert the uncertainty because I think there is time between now and December - that’s if we don't do anything that is extremely reckless. The leadership that we will elect in December‚ let it not be the leadership for the African National Congress‚ but it should be the leadership of the country‚" said Nene.

Zuma's term as ANC president comes to an end in December while his term as the head of the country ends in 2019.

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