Bonolo Selebano, The New Age, Johannesburg, 22 November 2016
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe described yesterday’s meeting with
disgruntled party stalwarts and veterans as “robust” and “candid”.
Speaking on the outcomes of the meeting outside Pretoria, Mantashe said the
party’s stalwarts did not shy away from raising their concerns on the
leadership of the ruling party.
He said they agreed to have a follow-up meeting before year-end.
The NEC continues
“We want to give the first day of the NEC to the veterans, then continue the
rest of the NEC over two days. We are quite happy with the meeting (it) was
candid, open (and) difficult sometimes but it’s important for the health of
the ANC,” he said.
Mantashe said the public utterances made by the ANC stalwarts were not in
the best interests of the movement.
“The question of what is said publicly is quite important. Things that
normally and ordinarily get resolved get spoiled in the process of
announcing things prematurely to the media,” he said.
ANC veteran Wally Serote said the ANC NWC made a concession on the
stalwarts’ request for a consultative conference.
“Yes, we are discussing it. It’s on the table (and) we are discussing the
modalities for it,” Serote said.
Serote echoed Mantashe on the frankness of the discussions held.
“There were difficult moments, we agreed on many issues. We agreed that
we’ll be guided by the culture, tradition and values of the ANC and that is
extremely important for us,” he said.
Not the collective
Serote also said veterans and stalwarts who signed an open letter calling
for President Jacob Zuma to step down could not be regarded as holding the
views of the collective.
“As a group of veterans we have never called for the president to resign. If
they utter them they do so in their personal capacity,” he said.