Eskom rift: The ANC remains united, says Paul Mashatile
More than 25000 ANC supporters, leaders and guests are expected to converge at the Tafel Lager Park stadium as the party, which is Africa’s oldest liberation movement, celebrates its continued existence since it was founded in 1912.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile has denied claims of emerging cracks within the ANC leadership after Deputy President David Mabuza accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom of misleading President Cyril Ramaphosa about load shedding.
Mashatile was yesterday leading the Presidential Golf Day which is part of the build-up activities for the January 8 rally.
Mabuza made the claim on Wednesday as the party’s top leadership drummed up support throughout the Northern Cape for its 108th birthday anniversary today.
Gordhan is Ramaphosa’s close ally and his claims saw renewed calls for his removal from Cabinet by those opposed to him within the party, including the Free State branch of the ANC Youth League.
Mashatile said while he had no knowledge of Mabuza’s accusations of Gordhan, it had nothing to do with factional battles within the party, which is preparing for its national general council (NGC) in June.
“I personally have not heard what the deputy president had said, so I cannot comment on it, but it would have nothing to do with factions in the ANC,” Mashatile said.
Mashatile said the party’s national officials would quiz Mabuza about his allegations.
“We will engage with him when we meet. We have not been able to meet,” said Mashatile.
He also denied that there were tensions among the party’s officials, who have been accused of positioning themselves ahead of the NGC, where Ramaphosa’s detractors are rumoured to be plotting to oust or weaken him by pointing out his failures since he took over.
“The top six of the ANC is working very close together. We are leading the process of unity from the top and you can see even our theme for this year emphasises unity,” Mashatile said.
Ramaphosa and other officials missed the Presidential Golf Day - which was attended by business people and other ANC national and provincial leaders - and spent the rest of yesterday continuing with their a week long campaign across the five regions of the province, encouraging supporters to attend the birthday bash.
Around 1000 guests, including business leaders, were expected to attend the party’s fundraising gala dinner last night.
Members of the national executive committee, including Police Minister Bheki Cele and State Security Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa yesterday assessed the rally’s satellite viewing venues in townships, including Galeshewe.