Johannesburg - African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has chastised senior party members who continuously criticised the ANC publicly, saying they were still caught up in a “state of nostalgia”.
Delivery his keynote address at the Eastern Cape ANC’s seventh provincial conference in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, Mantashe said such members had made it their mission to criticise rather than advise the party’s leadership.
Mantashe said the current theme of “nostalgia” was fashionable, adding that members had a duty to raise their concerns internally.
While Mantashe did not mention names, his comments came after former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils criticised the ruling party in a newspaper column last week, saying “the ANC’s soul needs to be restored”.
In what was perceived as a veiled attack on President Jacob Zuma’s leadership, Kasrils wrote that the “lack of leadership is starkly illustrated in such matters as sections of the police being out of control; such scandals as the non-delivery of textbooks to schools; and the wasteful expenditure of over R200-million on security alone at the president’s Nkandla home”.
His comments came hot on the heels of ANC national executive committee member Pallo Jordan’s critical comments. In his newspaper column published in the aftermath of the Gupta plane-landing saga, Jordan said people were within their right to judge Zuma by the sort of people he associated with.
Mantashe told the 1 200 delegates there were certain members in the party who “choose to be clean and not to be associated with the problems and the challenges facing the movement”.
“In that way they can say I don’t know the ANC, that’s not the ANC I joined because they are clean.
“But the ANC is evolving. It is minus them, and to get their voices through, they (write) columns and newspaper and feature articles inciting and blaming the ANC for everything,” Mantashe said.
He reminded party members who regularly reminisce about the ANC of the past that they might have inherited history, but they had the responsibility to construct the future because the ANC was not a static movement.