ANC national executive committee member Derek Hanekom received a rousing welcome when he addressed the Khayelitsha cadres forum. Picture: Phando Jikelo
Cape Town – ANC national executive committee member and former tourism minister Derek Hanekom says ANC leaders including President Jacob Zuma need to start listening to the people and alliance partners and step down when called to resign.

“If you are the president of the country, serve with honesty and diligence. If you are the deputy president, do the same, if you are a minister do the same. It is not about targeting an individual, but if an individual starts going wrong, that individual must be able to say I hear you. I hear Cosatu, the SACP, I hear the veterans, I hear the integrity commission, I hear half of the NEC."

“How many more people must say please Mr President? Please help us get out of these difficulties times. Not because we hate you, not at all. We love our movement, but we believe you are in a position to help us.”

Hankom was addressing hundreds of ANC supporters at the Khayelitsha cadres forum at Noluthando special school as part of Freedom Day celebrations on Thursday.

He was among the ministers axed by Zuma when he reshuffled his cabinet – a move that has led to calls for him to step down as the country’s president.

While it was within the president’s right to change his cabinet, the ANC had resolved during its Polokwane conference that this would be done in consultation with the party’s officials and alliance partners, according to Hanekom.

“The difficulty with what happened just four weeks ago, and the truth is that it was not done in consultation. A lot of us were expecting something to happen because it goes back to Nkandla, it goes back to the axing of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister. We know that comrade Pravin (Gordhan) was brought in to help us resolve the crisis."

“But we know ever since then he has been viewed as someone standing in the way of further corruption. We knew it was coming. The alliance knew it was coming. When the president informed other leaders of the SACP that it was his intention to replace comrade Pravin with Brian Molefe, they said no. It is not about Molefe, but we have read the 'State of Capture' report,” he said.

Hanekom told the cheering crowd that many ANC officials such as secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa were still angered by Zuma’s move.

“That was wrong. It is not how we conduct our business in the ANC. We must bring people with us,” he said.

Hanekom said it was important for the ANC to remind itself about the sacrifices made by people such as Chris Hani, Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo before fighting over positions.

“If we pretend there is no rot and go to the elections tomorrow, we will not get 60%. If we go to elections tomorrow, we might not get 50%. We might not be in government anymore."

"This transition to the freedom that we seek might come to an end because of ourselves. We must recognise the rot," he said.

Cape Times