Zweli Mkhize criticises ANC leadership over Phala Phala crisis management

The ANC’s Zweli Mkhize made a campaign stop in Cape Town on Saturday ahead of the party’s 55th national conference. Picture - Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

The ANC’s Zweli Mkhize made a campaign stop in Cape Town on Saturday ahead of the party’s 55th national conference. Picture - Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 6, 2022


ANC presidential candidate, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has chastised the ANC's top six for dragging their feet on making contingency plans to address the fallout from the Phala Phala scandal.

Mkhize, who was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Langa in Cape Town on Saturday, revealed he had raised the matter at an earlier National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

"I don’t agree that by now there hasn’t been a statement from the ANC," Mkhize said.

He said he had called for the top six to brief the (NEC) on scenario planning ahead of the release of the Section 89 report on Phala Phala this week.

The independent panel found that President Cyril Ramaphosa had a case to answer in relation to the theft of foreign currency at his farm.

"I raised a question to the leadership, and I said yes, we don’t have a sense of details around what happened, but can the leadership sit down and work out scenario planning and tell us if this happens, this is the way out? We need that report from the leadership—the top six—because the issues must be processed by the structures," Mkhize said.

"We already tasked the leadership to start working out this matter, and I hope that all of this will come up at the meeting [on Monday]," Mkhize said.

Following a marathon meeting on Monday, the party’s treasurer-general Paul Mashatile announced that the NEC had agreed that its MPs would vote against the adoption of the Section 89’s Phala Phala report.

This after it emerged that Ramaphosa was taking the report on judicial review at the Constitutional Court.

The former health minister spent Saturday afternoon canvassing for support at an ANC Youth League event ahead of the 55th ANC conference in Nasrec.

Mkhize urged attendees to hold delegates to account on what would be debated at the conference.

"We cannot have an NEC that is concerned with keeping people off the field. We spend a lot of time dealing with issues that are internal to the ANC, and this does not help the people on the ground.

“People are more concerned about issues of security of energy supply, load shedding, job losses, and unemployment, which is very high because inequality remains very high; in fact, we are the worst in the world," Mkhize said.

He said the ANC conference must also discuss the levels of inequality in society.

"This is what the leadership of the ANC must be debating; it shouldn’t be about who goes on sabbatical, is expelled, or is removed; it must be about how we make an impact on the ground, because the level of criminality is so high," Mkhize said.

He said unemployment and the high levels of crime were an emergency.

"This is not a normal situation, and this conference must be about those simple bread-and-butter issues," Mkhize said.

He said factionalism within the ANC was hampering the fight against corruption.

"It’s a farce to say we can fight corruption when we are dealing with people who are divided into factions that protect factions and who don’t deal with corruption in a non-partisan way.

"Now you will find that there will be a lot of noise when so and so is involved in corruption; it’s a problem of factionalism and it’s causing a difficulty," Mkhize said.

Mkhize added that the state of the leagues, including the ANC Youth League and the ANC Women’s League, must be addressed.

The two structures are currently disbanded.

"The ANC is being weakened by its own leaders, and members need to correct that. The ANC doesn’t belong to those leaders. Delegates must refrain from letting people pay them for their support. This ANC is not for sale," Mkhize said.

NEC member and MP Tandi Mahambehlala said Mkhize would lead the ANC to "Canaan (the promised land)."

"When Covid-19 was killing people, Dr Mkhize excelled. We all know that he was the one who made sure that people were protected.

"He ensured that hospitals were of a high standard and ready to deal with the influx of people."

"He was also the treasurer general of the ANC. He is not new to the ANC. He was also there during Apartheid, and even Oliver Tambo knows that he was there," Mahambehlala said.