Sihle Zikalala calls for ‘unity before individual interests’ ahead of ANC KZN conference

19 July 2018 - 06:00 By Zimasa Matiwane
Leader of the ANC in KZN Sihle Zikalala reminded ANC members of the need to unite behind elected leadership.
Leader of the ANC in KZN Sihle Zikalala reminded ANC members of the need to unite behind elected leadership.

The leader of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal‚ Sihle Zikalala‚ invoked the values upheld by former president Nelson Mandela’s generation of “unity before individual interests” ahead of the province’s elective conference.

Zikalala was addressing party members on Wednesday at the struggle icon’s memorial lecture in Umvoti in the Natal Midlands.

He reminded ANC members of the need to unite behind elected leadership.

“We have a duty to unite behind the elected leadership of the ANC not factions.

“Those who are not elected must support those who are elected‚ those who are elected must extend a hand and serve everyone‚ including those who support them‚” Zikalala said.

Zikalala is expected to be elected unopposed as the party's chairman in the province following discussions to avoid a bruising battle. However‚ the position of provincial secretary has emerged as the most closely contested.

Mdumiseni Ntuli‚ the former spokesman of the party’s Provincial Executive Committee‚ is the favourite to clinch the position. Ntuli is expected to lock horns with Super Zuma‚ the former provincial secretary.

Zikalala said the generation of Mandela had demonstrated that unity of the ANC was sacred by choosing unity of the party over their individualism.

“They understood that unity was the backbone from which our movement was formed and remained the only pillar in the struggle to defeat white supremacy and black oppression.

“We don't need a divided ANC‚ we need a strong ANC and to strengthen unity we must return to the traditions of collective leadership which Madiba always insisted on‚” he said.

Zikalala also called on party members to embrace different views within the organisation and encourage internal robust debates but disagree within the party.

“We must build unity within the ANC and across the alliance‚ we have a responsibility to always listen to each other and find one another. Only when we support each other can the ANC provide effective leadership in society‚” he added.

He cautioned party members against “wedge drivers who defeat the ANC cherished traditions and values”.

“In their dark corners these wedge drivers spend sleepless nights plotting to destroy the ANC and tear the revolution apart because if you spend nights plotting against another comrade‚ you are not plotting against one another‚ you are plotting to destroy the ANC‚” Zikalala said.

He also warned members about self serving and elitist leaders against imposing their views on people

“People no longer have patience for an ANC that neglects their needs. They no longer have sympathy for an ANC that looks paralysed by deep divisions.

“Comrades we contest state power and public office not for our sakes but to improve the lives of our people‚ we must remember that‚” he added.

The eighth provincial elective conference‚ which has been plagued by deep divisions among its branches‚ will take place this weekend.