Delivering what should be his final January Eighth statement on the way forward for the ANC, President Jacob Zuma boldly admitted that the ruling party made some terrible mistakes.
These mistakes, he conceded, were the primary reasons for the drop in supports, the growing factionalism, why the ruling party performed poorly in the 2016 municipal elections and lots more.
Zuma said he believed the people spoke their minds at the local government elections and that it’s now left for the ruling party to listen to the voices of the people.
“We must build a caring and a listening ANC. The ruling party has heard the message that the people delivered during the August local government elections,” he told the crowd.
Zuma, who doubles as ANC president, in reaction to the party’s mistakes, shocked everyone when he humbly pleaded with the people to give the ANC a chance to correct its mistakes.
He promised the thousands of party supporters at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday that the ruling party, from henceforth, will not overlook its mistakes. He also tackled factionalism and called on members to unite against enemies of the party.
“We must give our people hope, we must unite against our common enemies, which are unemployment, poverty and inequality, and not against one another.
Gauteng ANC Chair Paul Mashatile, who was also present at the event earlier called on party members to work towards correcting the mistakes in the party.
Delivering a welcome address at Orlando stadium earlier, the provincial chair stressed party members must fight bravely against factionalism. He urged members to go back to their branches and start working towards uniting the ANC.
“This is the year of unity and action; when we leave here let’s go to our branches and work together. “No more gatekeeping, no more faction, we are all together,” Mashatile said.
The ruling party has been plagued by infighting and public protests. The party’s woes escalated largely after it lost three key metros to its major political rival – the Democratic Alliance.
The ANC, which has won every election since the end of apartheid in 1994, is expected to pick a new leader at a conference in December.