ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has boldly told senior members in the ruling party to intervene against factionalism and ill-discipline.
“You have right to call upon our structures to unite and to get rid of factionalism and to say there should be discipline within the organisation and that we must be well behaved in meetings of the ANC. You have the right because it is born out of your experience, your conciousness and who you are...You have the right and a voice,” Ramaphosa said in his closing remarks at the ANC Veterans League (ANCVL) conference in Boksburg on Sunday.
As the ANC finds itself in a state of crisis, Ramaphosa told veterans that they need to be at the forefront as the party’s renewal process.
“Ahead of this conference and the 55th conference, you took it upon yourselves to own the whole process of renewal of your movement. Veterans represented here have reaffirmed their commitment to the NDR. This is articulated in your declaration,” he said.
He added: “You as the African National Congress League, you have a right. Do not ever think that by executing your role in the process of the renewal of the ANC and calling for unity, you are doing it from a weak position, you have a right. You have the right to talk about renewal.”
He said at the core of the renewal process should be an improvement of the material conditions of the people of South Africa.
"The good thing about your involvement as well is that you are not looking for positions. You are not involved in a struggle for positions to be either President of the Republic or Premier. You are doing it because of your commitment and that is what you need to remind us about,“ he said, adding the party was currently seized with members who jostle for positions for their own financial gain and standing in society.
“You are different and that is why you have the right to intervene and speak out,” he said.
He also congratulated leaders and delegates for handling their conference with “extreme precision and discipline” and for “setting the bar very high.
He also indicated that he agreed with the League’s firm stance that the ANC needs to review any coalition arraignments it may have including joining forces with the EFF.
“I agree with you that the ANC should be working for an outright victory for the 2024 elections. This notion that is going around that we should consider coalitions, as far as I'm concerned, it's not on the agenda. We are going for an outright victory,” he said.
Presenting the conference declaration, ANCVL President Snuki Zikalala indicated that veterans, among other things, commit themselves to assisting the ruling party tackle chronic poor economic performance as well as supporting the movement in its path of renewal.
“We want an organisation free from corruption, factionalism and political violence. We believe that a strong ANC, a strong organisation is an asset to the government,” he said.
ANC stalwart and women right’s activist Sophie De Bruyn also congratulated the delegates in their conduct and respect and the manner in which they applied their minds in the deliberations.
The top five leadership chosen at the conference includes Zikalala as President, Mavuso Msimang as his deputy, Ilva Mackay Langa as the secretary-general, Connie September as deputy secretary-general as Connie September and treasurer as Fazel Randera.