ANC general-secretary Gwede Mantashe address the commemoration event of Chris Hani in Klerksdorp. Picture: Noni Mokati

Klerksdorp - ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned that the ruling party stands losing a great deal of the electorate ahead of the 2019 elections.

Mantashe said leaders who disregard concerns raised by civil society were doing so to their own detriment and that of the movement.

"You can't show a middle finger to the masses and expect them to come back. When people march you can't dismiss them," Mantashe said to a loud applause.

He was speaking at the 24th Chris Hani Memorial Lecture held at the Motlasana Auditorium in Klerksdorp on Saturday.

The event was arranged by the Young Communist League.

Mantashe pointed out that the movement including its alliance was currently fragmented and at war with itself adding as a result it doesn't see the enemy coming.

He said because of this the opposition is using divisions and factionalism to gain supporters.

Mantashe implored the SACP not to be emotional and run away from the ANC while it goes through turmoil but rather stay and help it rebuild itself.

"Chris Hani was a unifying figure rather than a divisive figure. If we want to honour him, we must follow that," he said.

SACP central committee and executive member Madoda Sambatha highlighted that the communist party was not apologetic in its call for President Jacob Zuma to resign.

"We are not calling for our MPs to vote with the opposition against the ANC. What we have done is to call on the ANC to recall its President. They did it with Mbeki. It is nothing new. If the ANC can't recall the President, the SACP has nothing to do with internal ANC matters," he said.

He also said the SACP would not shy away from joining civil society marches such as those conducted by Save SA saying in doing so, they were holding the fort for the ruling party while it deals with its internal factional battles.

YCLSA national chairman Yershen Pillay also hit out at the ANC saying if it and it's leaders do not listen to the electoral, the SACP will do that on their behalf.

"If Hani were alive he would have joined YCL in declaring that socialism is the present and not the future. We have the responsibility of assisting the ANC in ridding itself of the challenges it faces," said Pillay.

Politics and Development Hub