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ANC Limpopo chairman Premier Cassel Mathale has called for an assessment of President Jacob Zuma’s leadership and a review of past resolutions.
Addressing the ANC provincial general council meeting in Polokwane on Sunday, Mathale asked for “a change of direction” when the party holds its elective national conference in December. He stopped short of calling for Zuma’s removal in Mangaung.
Mathale said mandates for all party leaders end at conferences.
“Even with the current leadership, they have been elected for five years,” he said.
He added his remarks were not meant to start a debate on succession.
The ANC national executive committee has prohibited succession debates until October.
“People must not (interpret) policies and the constitution of the ANC to suit their narrow political interests,” Mathale said. “Those who are leading must check how they conducted themselves,” he added, without mentioning Zuma by name.
Mathale, an ally of axed ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, is believed to be against a second term for Zuma as president.
The meeting was attended by ANC deputy secretary-general Thandi Modise and national executive member Mathole Motshekga, among others.
Limpopo will use the provincial general council to adopt a position for the coming national policy conference and national elective conference.
Mathale said policies that did not work to benefit the poor had to be abandoned.
The province resolved at its provincial congress in December to support the nationalisation of mines. This is in line with the ANCYL’s nationalisation campaign, including the expropriation of land without compensation.
“Five years ago (at the national conference) we took a resolution that the ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ (approach) is not working,” said Mathale.
He appeared to suggest that under Zuma, the ANC’s leadership was distracted.
“The ANC must not be controlled by administrative staff because elected politicians have other government or private responsibilities.”
SA’s foreign policy also came under scrutiny.
Mathale said the ANC needed policies that were uncompromising in pushing the African agenda forward.
SA, he said, required leaders with courage to articulate and defend its foreign policy.
“Any international relations policy that is not clear and consistent will not only be dangerous to us, but will also compromise the continent.”
This was in reference to a decision in March last year by SA to vote in favour of UN Security Council resolution 1973 to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya. Later, SA criticised attacks on civilians by Nato forces.
The youth league slammed the government’s decision and said it had voted with “imperialists”.
Mathale criticised Malawi for threatening to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the “selective” International Criminal Court, which “has not investigated even a single Western leader for gross human rights violations”.
“Malawi has also taken this opportunity to present itself to the West in a bid to attract foreign donors in order to rebuild its economy. This is done at the stake of unity in Africa.”