Tag Archives: ANC factions

South Africa – ANC chief whip Methembu battles factions and Zuma critics

City Press/News24

Jackson battles rogue MPs

2017-06-18 06:01

CHALLENGED ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu

CHALLENGED ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu


ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu had his hands full this week dealing with absent ANC MPs in the National Assembly as well as defiant MPs who challenged his authority to hold them accountable.

The fractures are indicative of deepening divisions in the ANC parliamentary caucus amid broader factions becoming more apparent in the party in the run-up to the national elective conference in December.

The tensions played out in this week’s caucus meeting where a group of MPs who had requested that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane include National Treasury, the SA Reserve Bank and the Financial Intelligence Centre in her state capture investigation defended their decision to approach the Public Protector without informing their bosses.

According to three sources who attended Thursday’s heated caucus meeting, Mthembu spoke out against the MPs who made the request, saying this was a sign of ill-discipline. He allegedly asked them to explain their actions to the caucus.

The MPs, led by Loyiso Mpumlwana, stood their ground and said they had not violated ANC policy by going to the Public Protector.

They accused Mthembu of being guilty of the same for allegedly expressing his views as if they were the views of the caucus he leads.

According to two of the sources, Mpumlwana charged:

“Wena [You] Jackson, when you go out and say ‘it’s the tradition of the ANC for the deputy president to become the president’, who are you representing … which caucus took that position?”

Mthembu’s backers allegedly claimed that by presenting a view that was not sanctioned by the caucus, the other group was intentionally undermining the chief whip and trying to portray him as someone who was not able to manage the caucus.

They view the request for the Public Protector to investigate Treasury as a deflection in an attempt to minimise the impact of the Guptas’ alleged role in state capture.

According to sources, Mpumlwana explained that they were forced to approach the Public Protector following complaints from their constituencies.

He allegedly argued that MPs represent constituencies and therefore could not ignore issues that were raised at that level.

Mpumlwana expressed the same sentiments to City Press two weeks ago when he said: “MPs have a duty to respond to the issues of their constituencies. We can’t take everything to the caucus.”

Then, Mpumlwana had claimed that more than 90 MPs were signatories to the letter requesting the Public Protector to expand her state capture investigation and added that the list was growing every day.


Mthembu had, in a statement issued on June 1, distanced the ANC caucus from the group’s actions, saying the MPs acted in their individual capacities and not as representatives of the ANC parliamentary caucus and that whatever they submitted to the Public Protector was their own view.

He later indicated to City Press that the MPs would have to explain themselves to the party caucus and that the caucus would take a decision on the way forward.

But all three sources claimed that there was a stalemate and no way forward had been proposed or agreed to.

Mthembu refused to comment on the latest developments around the matter. He said caucus issues were not to be spoken of in the public domain.

“I will not deny nor confirm the issues that we discuss in caucus,” he said.

Mpumlwana was not available for comment. Several phone calls and an SMS went unanswered on Saturday.

At the same caucus meeting, Mthembu is said to have announced plans to discipline MPs whose absence from the National Assembly had led to its failure to pass certain laws.

In recent weeks, and following walkouts by opposition parties, Parliament has had to postpone the passing of proposed laws due to the lack of a quorum.

The Border Management Authority Bill, for instance, was only passed during a third attempt earlier this month as on two prior occasions there were not enough MPs in the House to meet the required 50% plus one quorum to pass a law.

Hours after Thursday’s meeting, Mthembu asked the National Assembly to postpone the approval of the Protected Disclosures Amendment Bill because there were not enough MPs to pass the law.

He told City Press this was because a number of ministers had gone to Knysna with President Jacob Zuma following the devastating fires there last week.

Mthembu lashed out at opposition parties for their staged walkouts and said these were absurd and unpatriotic.

“They must tell us if Parliament’s majority is now centred around the 249 ANC MPs. They must say so, so that we change everything to centre around the ANC.

“If you are saying you won’t assist the ANC in passing its laws, say so and then tell us what example are we setting for provinces and hung municipalities where they are in charge,” he said.

A long-serving ANC MP compared the tensions in the party’s caucus to those of 2006 when then chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe claimed the caucus was fully behind Thabo Mbeki when the former president came under attack from the SA Communist Party and trade union federation Cosatu for his alleged “imperial” presidency.

Goniwe was attacked by MPs who agreed with the ANC’s tripartite alliance partners.

The MP, who sympathises with Mthembu, said even if the other grouping was pursuing a matter raised by their constituencies, they should have gone through the chief whip.

“What they did affects everybody in caucus.”

Mthembu is regarded as a sympathiser of ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and has faced hostility from Zuma’s supporters.

South Africa – if ANC can’t save yourself “SACP must step in”


2017-06-15 18:35

Few would dispute that the ANC is currently in its weakest state ever in its 103 years of existence.

Challenged by this, it appears paralysed.

At the core of its weakness is the rot of individual interest, which manifests itself in the form of corruption and massive looting of state-owned enterprises.

The ANC leadership at all levels has proven indecisive in confronting and eliminating this scourge of parasitism.

These are indications that the organisation does not listen to the opinions of the nucleus of the motive forces of our revolution, the working class.

As a result, tragically, the ANC’s self-inflicted state of collapse mirrors that of other liberation movements after their independence breakthroughs.

I question whether the ANC national conference in December can save the ANC from its political and moral decay; if it is to do so there will need to be a massive shift in the balance of forces in the next few months.

Our people are fast losing confidence in the ANC and its government due to massive scandals involving those who are given a rare privilege to serve our people in the corridors of government.

The information exposed in the report of the South African Council of Churches’ unburdening panel and the academics’ analysis of the patterns of state capture, as well as emails exposing the corruption network involving President Jacob Zuma and his family, have caused great distress across our movement and thus contributed – in the absence of decisive principled response by leadership – to its paralysis.

The toxic parasitic network that has inflicted such severe damage on the standing and support of the ANC will have to be destroyed root and branch, in line with the South African Communist Party’s long-standing challenge to the ANC to adopt a zero-tolerance approach on parasitism and corruption.

At this critical juncture in the history of our liberation movement the working class led by communists in the SACP must move to the front in defence of our revolution.

This renewal of the movement’s leadership must seek the support of all democrats and patriots.

The SACP’s 14th national congress in July must consider all options – including a direct electoral route – because the ANC seems no longer capable of leading the national democratic revolution.

The SACP may be facing two options; loyalty to a rotten ANC unwilling or unable to correct itself, or assuming itself leadership of the national democratic revolution, reconnecting with our people and radicalising the class struggle.

The choice to be made between these two options is clear. Leadership of the revolution can no longer be entrusted to any class formation other than the working class, in relation to which the SACP must play its vanguard role.

The 14th national congress of the SACP presents an opportunity for the SACP to assert its leadership role in the revolution.

It has become necessary and urgent to save the working class and our revolution from the vicious and toxic parasitic network that threatens our revolution.

Benson Ngqentsu is the SACP Western Cape provincial secretary

South Africa – ANCYL: We expect better from our leaders that criticise the party

Mail and Guardian

ANC Youth League Collen Maine. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)
ANC Youth League Collen Maine. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The ANC Youth League says it is very disappointed with the recent public criticism of its organisation by some senior ANC officials.

The league addressed the media on Tuesday at Luthuli House following their extended NEC meeting this past weekend at the St Georges Hotel in Pretoria.

Youth League leader Collen Maine said: “We must firstly indicate that we are very disappointed because we expect better from them [Joel Netshitenzhe and Gwede Mantashe] as leaders of the African National Congress but we will refrain from doing what they are doing and we will demonstrate leadership to them and engage with their views internally.

“We must also engage what informs these sudden attacks on the youth league but we will engage them internally. The ANC Youth League is united and there are no divisions.”

Both Netshitenzhe and Mantashe have recently criticised the ANCYL publically.

Netshitenzhe recently lamented the current state of the ANCYL while secretary general Mantashe, speaking to delegates at the National Union of Mineworkers central executive committee, last week said the league has been reduced to henchmen.

In the media briefing, the league also pronounced Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as their preferred presidential candidate, with Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza as her deputy.

The youth league also proposed the introduction of a second deputy general secretary with Fikile Mbalula as their preferred candidate for the position.


South Africa – Zuma tells ANC members not to join “counter-revolutionaries”

Mail and Guardian

The president also called for an end to public spats among ANC members and leaders, which he said eroded the party’s ability to lead society. (Waldo Sweigers/Bloomberg)
The president also called for an end to public spats among ANC members and leaders, which he said eroded the party’s ability to lead society. (Waldo Sweigers/Bloomberg)

President Jacob Zuma has accused ANC members who have joined civil-society groupings with “hostile opinions” of the ANC of being counter-revolutionary and attempting to be viewed as morally an intellectually sound.

Zuma was speaking at the 5th elective conference of the  uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in Boksburg, where a new leadership will be elected.

“Some have fallen for the trap and have joined these groupings in order to appear as intellectually and morally sound,” Zuma said.

“Comrades, at what point do we call counter-revolutionaries, counter-revolutionaries? Let us unite, close ranks and refuse to join sporadic movements whose origins and ultimate objectives we do not know”.

The president also called for an end to public spats among ANC members and leaders, which he said eroded the party’s ability to lead society.

The MKMVA has been involved in a series of public spats with the MK Veterans National Council Steering Committee accusing it of being led by a group of disgruntled, childish MK members. The two organisations are known to hold opposing views on the state of the ANC and its leadership.

On Tuesday MK Council leaders called on MK members to distance themselves from the MKMVA’s divisive decision to renege on an earlier agreement to have a joint conference between the two bodies.

Yesterday a group of national MKMVA office-bearers and senior members added fuel to criticism of the organisation when they announced their boycott of the gathering citing concerns over divisiveness and factionalism.

Zuma expressed disappointment that infighting within the MK could not be overcome even for the sake of electing new leadership and adopting organisational resolutions.

“Its unfortunate that some comrades have lost this opportunity to be here to engage, so that we come together on the matters that are raised. But I’m hopeful that after all of this one of the resolutions you will take will be to engage these comrades,” he said.

Those who are boycotting the conference are questioning its legitimacy amid claims that approximately 60% of the 700 delegates do no have legitimate MK credentials.

Despite this the conference would still forge ahead with adopting resolutions on issues including land reform, radical economic transformation and the fight against white monopoly capital before electing new leaders.

South Africa – the “ostrich days” of the ANC are over says Mashatile


2017-05-13 14:51

Paul Mashatile (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Paul Mashatile (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

2017-05-13 08:54

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for “one slate” ahead of the ANC’s elective congress.


Johannesburg- Those already campaigning to replace President Jacob Zuma as leader of the ANC when he steps down in December must wait for the party to tell them if they meet the criteria, Gauteng ANC Chairperson Paul Mashatile said on Saturday.

He said during his welcome address for the ANC’s Umkhonto We Sizwe liberation army, that it was not yet time for potential leaders to be mobilizing members behind their cause.

Several combatants braved the cold snap for a second MK National Council Assembly, where its steering committee would deliver a report following resolutions adopted at the previous gathering.

MK Council’s steering committee member General Mbuyiseni Mashoalo said eight provinces managed to make it to the event with only Bheki Cele, from KwaZulu-Natal making it to the assembly.

This resulted in former combatants having to make their own plans to attend the event. Three-hundred members from KZN did not arrive.

Mashatile, who received applause for his comments, said it was important to be clear on the criteria which candidates needed to meet if they wanted to take up positions in the party’s top structures at the elective conference in December.

“I see there are already some people who have started campaigning, but we have not told them yet whether they meet the criteria, so they must wait,” said Mashatile.

Former African Union commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s campaign was one of the first to be launched, with the ANC Women’s League resolving that she was their preferred presidential candidate.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is another front runner in the race, has been crisscrossing the country speaking on leadership and the state of the party.

Mashatile said the party needed to tighten up the criteria of selecting leaders.

“If the ANC wants to survive it must listen to the people,” said Mashatile.

He said the party previously made decisions which had enjoyed popular support even outside the ANC.

Mashatile said the ANC needed to listen to those voices, even if they are outside of the 105 year old movement – warning that failing to do so would endanger the party.

“The ostrich days of the party are over. We must listen to society as a whole,” Mashatile said in reference to the myth that the birds bury their heads in the sand when threatened.

He also reiterated a call previously made for the liberation movement’s members to fight the “demon” and “cancer” which presented itself in the form of factionalism and slate politics.

Read more on:    anc

South Africa – Ramaphosa gaining ground in leadership race as Zuma camp begins to disintegrate

BD Live

‘People are fed up, they are quite unhappy with the Zuma leadership and the idea that Nkosazana might be his proxy’

10 May 2017 – 09:47 Sam Mkokeli and Michael Cohen
Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Look who’s smiling now Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign to become South Africa’s next president has gone into overdrive.

After months of playing coy about his aspirations to become the next leader of the ruling African National Congress, the deputy president has started crisscrossing the country speaking out against corruption. He’s picked up endorsements from labor unions, church leaders and some of the ANC’s most respected leaders, including former president Kgalema Motlanthe and ex-finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

Ramaphosa’s biggest electoral asset may be his boss, the increasingly unpopular President Jacob Zuma, who’s indicated that he wants to be succeeded by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife and former head of the African Union Commission. While Dlamini-Zuma, 68, initially appeared to be the front-runner in the race, the balance of power seemed to have shifted on May 1 when persistent booing forced Zuma to cancel an address at a union rally in the central Free State province, one of his traditional strongholds.

“People are fed up, they are quite unhappy with the Zuma leadership and the idea that Nkosazana might be his proxy,” said Mcebisi Ndletyana, an associate professor of political science at the University of Johannesburg. “Ramaphosa is benefiting from that disillusionment.”

Under Zuma’s leadership, Africa’s most-industrialized economy has stagnated and the unemployment rate has reached a 13-year high. Opposition to Zuma’s rule has been fueled by a series of scandals, including a finding by South Africa’s top court that he violated his oath of office when he ignored a graft ombudsman’s directive to repay taxpayer funds spent on his private home.

Electoral Losses  The electorate’s disgruntlement became evident in municipal elections in August last year. The ANC’s share of the vote fell to 54.5 percent, the lowest since the end of apartheid, and the party lost control of the capital, Pretoria, and Johannesburg, the economic hub.

Several ANC leaders have warned the party may lose its majority in national elections in 2019 — a risk that Susan Booysen, a politics professor at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Governance, sees as boosting Ramaphosa’s campaign.

“The tide is turning against Jacob Zuma,” Booysen said. “Things are falling apart for the Zuma camp.”

Calls for Zuma to go reached a climax after he fired Gordhan on March 31, raising concerns over the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline and prompting S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. to downgrade the nation’s credit rating to junk. The rand slumped.

While Zuma said his relationship with Gordhan, who had frustrated his plans to build new nuclear power plants, had broken down, Ramaphosa criticized his removal and said other senior ANC leaders weren’t consulted. The High Court has ordered Zuma to provide reasons for the cabinet changes on Thursday to prove his decision was rational.

It still could be an uphill climb for Ramaphosa to win the ANC’s top post when the 105-year-old party holds a December conference to elect its leader, who will also be its presidential candidate in the 2019 vote.

With only two of the nine provinces, Gauteng and Eastern Cape, firmly behind him, Ramaphosa lacks enough support within the ANC to win control of the party, Darias Jonker, an analyst at Eurasia Group in London, said in a May 5 note to clients.

Ramaphosa’s Stature  Yet, the fact that Ramaphosa showed he was prepared to stand up to Zuma over Gordhan’s dismissal has boosted his stature, said Anthony Butler, a political science professor at the University of Cape Town and author of a biography about Ramaphosa.

A lawyer who co-founded the National Union of Mineworkers, Ramaphosa, 64, helped negotiate a peaceful end to apartheid and draft South Africa’s first democratic constitution. He lost out to Thabo Mbeki in the contest to succeed Nelson Mandela as president in 1999 and went into business, amassing a fortune before returning to full-time politics in 2012 as the ANC’s deputy leader.

His image was tarnished when police shot dead 34 protesters at Lonmin Plc’s Marikana platinum mine in 2012, following days of violent strike action. In an email written days before the shooting, Ramaphosa described the violence at the mine, which was part-owned by a company he founded, as “dastardly criminal” and urged police to take “concomitant action.” A commission of inquiry cleared Ramaphosa of wrongdoing.

In an address to students in the southern town of Grahamstown on Sunday, Ramaphosa said his language in the email was inappropriate and that he’d sought to prevent violence rather than provoke it, News24 reported.

Ramaphosa needs to continue riding the wave of popular disapproval of Zuma’s leadership, according to Ndletyana.

“Yearning for an alternative leadership is likely to grow,” Ndletyana said. “Zuma is not done yet with his scandals. He is a gift that keeps on giving.”

– Bloomberg

South Africa – Rule 53: why Zuma must explain reshuffle

Mail and Guardian

President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)
President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

President Jacob Zuma has to explain why he reshuffled his Cabinet because a rule governing high courts about reviews of its decisions demands that he does so, Judge Bashier Vally said on Tuesday.

Rule 53 of the Uniform Rules of Court, which governs high court proceedings, was established to regulate on a national basis the procedure to be followed in cases of all types of review, whether based on statutory or common law.

Vally said, for the last five decades, courts had been able to perform their judicial functions because of rule 53.

Sitting in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg he explained the reasons for his ruling last Thursday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that Zuma should hand over all records he used to justify reshuffling his Cabinet.

Most of the cases where rule 53 was applied involved a decision or proceedings of an inferior court, a tribunal, a board, or an officer performing judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative functions, and not an executive decision.

Literal interpretation
Zuma had relied on this to contend that the provisions of rule 53 did not apply to an application to review his executive decision to reshuffle his Cabinet.

The weakness in Zuma’s case was that he had relied on the literal interpretation of the rule, Vally said.

“Rule 53 was promulgated at a time when executive decisions were not subject to review. Subsequently, with the enactment of the Constitution and the development of common law since its enactment, these decisions, as the president acknowledges, are subject to review.”

He said it was true that rule 53 had not been amended to cater for this, but to decide on its applicability to review executive decisions, it was necessary to subject the rule to a purposive interpretation.

“Relying on the purposive interpretation, there is no logical reason not to utilise it in an application to review and set aside an executive decision.”

The rule could thus be applied to a bid to review and set aside an executive order or decision, Vally said.

In court papers, Zuma had said that the Democratic Alliance’s urgent application to have reasons for the recent Cabinet reshuffle divulged was misconceived and without merit.

The DA filed an urgent application with the court on April 24 to force Zuma to disclose his reasons for reshuffling his Cabinet on March 30.

Having succeeded, the DA’s next step would be to ask the court to review and set aside his decision to sack finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

Zuma described it as an abuse of court processes and argued he was exercising his powers in terms of section 91 (2) of the Constitution. He said it was an executive decision that deserved protection from disclosure. – News24