ACTIVIST Zackie Achmat described the Mangaung vote yesterday as a “victory for the corrupt”, but before he acts on his vow to withdraw support for the ANC if Jacob Zuma was returned again, he is first consulting the ANC Veterans’ League.
Minutes after the voting results were announced at Mangaung yesterday, the Cape Town activist told the Cape Times: “This marks the end of the ANC as a party of progress, freedom and social justice.”
He described the vote as a display of fake dominance, and a “victory for the corrupt business and public service faction”.
Last month, Achmat who joined the ANC 32 years ago, said he would no longer support the party if Zuma was re-elected. At the time, he threw his weight behind Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, saying: “The ANC today is no longer the party I joined in prison during 1980 when I was recruited by Johnny Issel. From the time of former President Mbeki, corruption has been rewarded, whether it be the Arms Deal or Oilgate and under President Zuma it has reached significant proportions.”
Achmat has always openly criticised the party and said he withdrew his membership under Thabo Mbeki in 2004, and would now withdraw his support for the ANC.
However, the ANC Veterans League sent Achmat an open letter asking him not to withdraw his support.
Achmat said: “Even though my instinct is to stick to my principles, I will consult the veterans and explain why I want to leave rather than ask permission. The way I think, I don’t think I can support the ANC.”
The letter, signed by league president Sandi Sijake, said: “It is not even worth thinking of leaving the ANC after the years of sacrifice just because agents of destruction have an upper hand in the ANC at present. ANC is our proverbial Jerusalem and we are the only ones who must build its walls so that future generations can see where they come from and occupy the heights from which they are able to clearly map their destiny.
“That is not through tenders, bribes, corruption, theft, plundering, and destruction of education for youth, maculating health system and subtle promotion of tribalism and racism. The answer is through rebuilding the young people to provide a healthy leadership to the ANC.”
Sijake reminded Achmat of his support for the Freedom Charter.