Minister for Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)
Minister for Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Factionalism is damaging the essence of ANC, says Dlamini Zuma

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 18, 2021

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ANC national executive member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has decried the damage that factionalism has caused to the ANC.

Dlamini Zuma was speaking at a Young Communist League memorial lecture for Chris Hani on Saturday.

The event was held under the theme ’Saving the soul of the ANC from the claws of factionalism and neo-liberal policies’.

Dlamini Zuma said the “demon” of factionalism had slowly crept in and started damaging the “essence of the ANC”.

Her speech takes place as the party expects several members, including secretary-general Ace Magashule, to step aside because they have faced corruption charges.

Concerns over factionalism in the ANC have been ongoing for years. Dlamini Zuma said the party had never made decisions based on factionalism.

“In our view, factionalism is a gross deviation from ANC policies and is rooted in the promotion of self-interest and careerism above the interest of the people. It is also a self-preservation agenda that sees self above all,” she said.

“It is also driven by counter-revolutionary tendencies which are rooted in maintaining the status quo at the least or returning to the old ways at best.”

Dlamini Zuma said the party would be unable to rebuild a thriving society without a united organisation.

Dlamini Zuma’s speech also addressed challenges facing the country, such as economic decline, poverty and unemployment. But she also addressed situations where “ill-discipline” had cost the party, such as leading to breakaway formations such as Cope and the EFF.

Dlamini Zuma said the ANC cadre of this era had issues with ill-discipline, which caused factions within the party.

“As the ANC, we are not producing and maintaining the quality of cadre that is expected by a progressive revolutionary movement, and it is evident in the rampant ill-discipline that has been creeping up, which has now become pervasive.

“The challenges include not only the ANC, but the alliance as a whole, as well as other structures of the MDM (mass democratic movement). The fracturing and disunity of our movement create a vacuum, which is being filled by opportunistic elements in our society. Ill-discipline, factionalism and divisions are therefore tearing us apart,” Dlamini Zuma said.

“We need to focus categorically on cadres development and utilising the confidence our people show in us through the ballot to advance our revolution.”

Dlamini Zuma told the lecture that the focus of the party should be to rebuild a relationship with society. It should also revive the economy with a focus on saving struggling state-owned entities, manufacturing, free education, and creating jobs and opportunities.

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