The ANC must accept responsibility for the political violence in KwaZulu-Natal, said ousted ANC KZN chairperson Senzo Mchunu. Picture: S'bonelo Ngcobo

Durban – The African National Congress (ANC) must accept responsibility for the political violence and killings in KwaZulu-Natal, according to ousted ANC KZN chairperson and axed premier, Senzo Mchunu.
 
“The ANC must accept responsibility, that is the first thing we need to do. Accept that we are responsible for this directly or indirectly. And when we accept this responsibility, as an organisation, we then have to act accordingly. I don’t think we have a choice,” said Mchunu.
 
Mchunu was testifying before the Moerane Commission of enquiry in Mayville, Durban, on Wednesday as part of its enquiry into political violence in the province.
 
Accepting responsibility was not an instant solution, according to Mchunu, but it would be “a real solution”.
 
He also said that “strong, resolute leadership” was needed within the organisation, leadership that did not rely on factions for survival.
 
“Ineffectual or weak leadership, unintentional, becomes a contributing factor. In the long term, as a result of those weaknesses, wrong things happen, which may get people killed,” he said.
 
In the morning, Mchunu said that extended dialogue was needed within the ANC and all political players in the province to better understand the violent past of KwaZulu-Natal, but it was the governing party that would need to “take stock”, he said in the afternoon.
 
“The ANC has to take stock of the effectiveness of its internal systems without fearing or avoiding criticism, we have to look at the bigger picture as concerns consequences,” he said.
 
“In the ANC we like looking at ourselves as leaders of society. If we don’t act accordingly, there will be inconsistencies between what we say and how we act. This will decrease our days as a governing party. We have to look at reviving, rejuvenating and improving our systems.”
 
Asked by commissioner Vasu Gounden if he was prepared to dialogue with his provincial ANC peers who last week were effectively rendered powerless by a high court decision over the party’s 2015 provincial conference at which he was ousted as chairman, Mchunu said: “I don’t think we have any other choice in KZN.”
 
But Mchunu also said the environment had to be conducive to dialogue. “If you break my leg and I bleed and you say ‘get up I want to dialogue with you’, it is not possible. Let me go to hospital first and see my way towards healing. As a minimum, let me stop bleeding,” he said.
 
The high court verdict had opened an opportunity for dialogue, he said, and he was willing to talk to his ANC colleagues.