Zweli Mkhize dismisses NDZ 'talks', confirms own availability for ANC top job
ANC national executive committee member Zweli Mkhize has dismissed claims he is in talks with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to possibly join her party presidential campaign. Instead, for the first time, he has confirmed that if nominated as president, he would accept.
“We are always in touch with [former] President [Jacob] Zuma. We haven't discussed a campaign for anybody but we have been discussing issues about how to assist the ANC and that is really because as elders we try to support younger leaders.
“The process of nominations will be left to the branches and of course as members of the ANC, if the branches have made a nomination, you have to oblige. If there is such a nomination, it will be accepted,” he said.
Mkhize was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Victoria Mxenge memorial lecture he delivered on Wednesday night in Durban.
His message was that anti-apartheid activists who were killed during the fight for freedom must not be used for sloganeering by the governing party. Rather, leaders must show their love for these heroes and heroines by changing the lives of the people.
“We can remember Victoria Mxenge, we can remember Griffiths Mxenge, we can remember Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu. But our memories must not just be sloganeering — our memories must be about how we change the lives of our people in their names,” he said.
Mkhize’s lecture, while also dealing with the failures of the ANC at Eskom and other state-owned enterprises, including lack of basic services such as housing, water, sanitation and the creation of employment, focused more on how to get the organisation back to what it was — an ally of the people, especially the poor.
He told ANC members and leaders in attendance the upcoming 55th national conference should be a chance for the party to reset. An ANC plagued by factionalism and divisions cannot focus on the economy, land matters and changing lives of people, he said.
“It's important for us to insist that delegates going to the conference in December must come back with a united ANC and I am saying this because we have other challenges that we have to deal with.
“Those memories of our heroes don't mean anything if they don't inspire us to go and change the lives of our people.”
Mkhize reminded party members it was their duty to come out of the December conference with a leadership that could effectively deal with societal challenges, adding that could only be achieved by a vibrant ANC.
“We must make sure this ANC is fixed, renewed, strengthened and united. There is no contradictions about unity, renewal.
“The owners of the ANC, however — the branch members — will determine the pace, direction and depth of the renewal.”
PODCAST | Zweli Mkhize’s dangerous tribalistic approach to winning the ANC presidency
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