File picture: Sizwe Ndingane/ANA
Durban - Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni believes the strong call for the ANC to be rescued is a little too late and merely a “self-cleansing exercise to clear their consciences”.

Mnguni was reacting to the declaration made by ANC veterans and stalwarts at the national consultative conference held at the weekend.

The conference, which was shunned by the ANC, was also attended by former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom and presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu.

With less than a month to go to the ANC elective conference, and the deadline for branch nominations reached, Mnguni said the vehicle was already in motion and the conference holds no real bearing.

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“With this conference, they sought to influence the type of leadership and the policy framework that leadership should follow but it is too late.

"I think now they are just trying to clear their consciences so that in the future they can look back and say that they tried to do something,” he said.

But Mnguni said the public ought to ask where the same veterans and stalwarts were during the conference in Mangaung and what role they had played in bringing President Jacob Zuma into power?

“This rescue seems too late and what these stalwarts fear will probably unfold before their eyes,” he said.

Mnguni said the greatest fear for the veterans and stalwarts was to see the ANC out of power.

He also called on former president Thabo Mbeki to unveil who exactly he was referring to as “not ANC”.

In his speech at the conference Mbeki slammed the ANC, saying it had been captured by a dominant faction that was not ANC.

“What do we do to liberate the ANC from a dominant group that is in fact not ANC?” he asked.

Mnguni said it was important that the veterans revealed to South Africans who were the “dominant, not ANC” group.

“What if this group wins the conference in December? What is the use of voting ANC then? They need to distinguish what and who is not ANC because as South Africans we need to reach a logical conclusion before we get to the voting stations,” Mnguni said.

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The stalwarts and veterans also reiterated their call for Zuma to step down.

In their strongly worded declaration, the veterans, who declared that “we will not allow the ANC to die under our watch”, said they were deeply hurt by what they regarded as a betrayal of people’s long-standing support and trust of the ANC.

“We are deeply troubled by the abandoning of the ANC’s historic values and principles, which has undermined popular confidence in government, Parliament, state-owned enterprises and other public institutions,” the declaration reads.

The mismanagement of the economy had led to unprecedented unemployment rates. “This has exacerbated the levels of poverty among the masses of our people.

“Women, the marginalised in our society; in particular the youth, have suffered immensely from the full brunt of the leadership’s reckless decisions and Indecisiveness.

“The increased crime rates and the deplorable insecurity within our vulnerable communities in the background of the corrupt and dysfunctional policing and prosecution services, together with unrelenting and dehumanising gender violence, leaves a sore eye to witness,” read the statement.

They reiterated their call for Zuma to step down.

“We are witness to the moral degeneration in society that is overseen by a self-centred, non-caring leadership that lacks honesty, integrity and a vision for the future.

“Membership of the ANC has come to be seen by some as a path to positions, personal power, privilege and licence to plunder the state resources,” it read further.

The Mercury