‘Stop campaigning against ANC’: Mbalula lashes out at party veterans

Secretary-general addresses what he calls daily attacks on the ruling party

06 December 2023 - 21:31
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ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula has lashed out at the party’s revered elders, saying their conduct amounted to campaigning against the governing party.

Mbalula on Wednesday opened his media briefing by addressing what he called daily attacks on the ANC and its leaders by the party’s veterans.

Though he provided no context, it appears he is referring to recent remarks by party elders criticising the performance of the ANC.

Former president Thabo Mbeki has been critical of the ANC’s dwindling performance in government. Mbeki has also said the party failed to action the much talked about renewal project, arguing not much has been done since its announcement two national conferences ago.

Recently another party elder, Mavuso Msimang, told Newzroom Afrika though President Cyril Ramaphosa was the late Nelson Mandela’s preferred successor, he did not believe the father of the rainbow nation would be proud of Ramaphosa’s presidency.

Mbalula on Wednesday went on the offensive saying what the elders were doing was nothing but “decampaigning” their party.

“We call upon the veterans of the ANC to stop decampaigning the organisation and work through the structures of the organisation [sic],” said Mbalula.

With the ANC facing probably its toughest election, criticism should be discussed internally and not in the full view of the public, Mbalula argued.

“The leadership of the ANC from its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and all of us have availed ourselves to the counsel and the direction of our veterans and stalwarts, but on a daily basis the veterans of the ANC have led a charge on this organisation and attack the ANC and decampaign our movement in a difficult period faced with difficult issues.”

He said the current leadership of the ANC has been in office for just 12 months and have always made themselves available to their elders for political engagements.

“If there’s anywhere where we err as the leadership we are available 12 o'clock midnight, all the time, if they wish to make a call on us like they have done on numerous occasions on issues of renewal and so on. We as leadership elected in Nasrec in the past conference, we believe we are seized with these matters,” he said.

“In a couple of days it will be the first anniversary of this leadership and there are a lot of issues that have been raised which some have not been addressed, but they have not left our political agenda.”

Mbalula said the party was busy with a renewal process and restoring integrity.

“Issues of integrity in the organisation have not left our platform and the agenda. We have established the integrity commission, we are responding to all issues the integrity commission have raised with us including a number of cases that have been forwarded to the national executive committee by the integrity commission and the NEC as it meets will not only reflect but will take decisions on the matters that have been brought to its attention by the integrity commission,” he said.

“All members of the ANC implicated at the Zondo commission who have not appeared before the integrity commission, which numbers about 89 people, have been referred to the disciplinary committee of the ANC to attend to them — all of them without exception.”

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