The need for members of the ANC NEC to embrace and sustain peace and unity among themselves has been emphasized by the ruling party’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
According to Mantashe, the level of hatred among a majority of NEC members fully played out during the just-concluded crucial meeting that held in Irene last weekend.
He said he was deeply shocked during the meeting when he saw the thickness of some member’s hatred towards one another.
He called for a change in attitude and also urged his colleagues to learn from the life of Cuba former president Fidel Castro, who loved his colleagues and country dearly.
Mantashe was speaking at the ANC’s memorial service for late Cuban revolutionary icon Fidel Castro at the Johannesburg City Hall, on Wednesday.
He said: “One of the things that came out of the meeting was the depth of hatred among the comrades, let alone disagreeing. There is nothing wrong when people disagree. There is everything wrong with that disagreement becoming hatred.
“We may disagree on a particular point, but the dangerous thing is that every time a comrade raises a point I disagree with; I put that comrade in a box and I think I can burn that box and burn that comrade in that box. It is the worst thing that can happen to our movement.”
In the course of the ANC NEC meeting last week, reports had it that Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele and Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa almost attacked each other physically over Marikana massacre issue.
Members of the ruling party’s highest body were said to have divided into two groups; with one side asking President Zuma to step down while the other group insisted the President is going nowhere.
Sources had it that the following ministers led the charge against President Zuma’s continuous headship. Tourism Minister Derek; Hanekom Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi; and his deputy Joe Phaahla; NEC member Fikile Xasa; ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu and ANC economic transformation chief Enoch Godongwana.
On the defensive line were Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba; Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula; Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe; and African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Division in the ruling party intensified beyond control since Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma defied Thuli Madonsela recommendation on his Nkandla homestead. The division was further deepened after Madonsela implicated Zuma in the state of capture report.