The uMkhonto weSizwe, MK Council steering committee emphasized the need for a national consultative conference that will center on how to revive the ruling African National Congress.
The committee, who seemed worried about the failing state of the ANC and how much it has affected South Africa’s democracy, call for urgent talks that will realign the party to its original traditions, values and ideals.
The ANC, as it exists today, no longer reflects the values and ideals that “Comrade Kathy and his peers stoically stood for in our movement” says the council’s General Siphiwe Nyanda
“In this regard, the MK Council steering committee calls on the leadership of the ANC to be courageous and rise to the occasion by giving leadership to the new wave of patriotic favour engendered by the death of Uncle Kathy, within the ranks of the ANC and among progressive South Africans in general,” said Nyanda in delivering the committee’s statement at a media briefing on Thursday.
Speaking while reflecting on the recent passing of ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, MK steering committee member Thabang Makwetla, also noted that the committee desires for the ANC, as both a party and an institution, to examine itself and trace its steps back to its very purpose of liberating citizens.
To do this, the committee recommends that the national consultative conference include all leaders of the ANC movement to be a part of the discussion.
“In order to save South Africa, we have to save the ANC,” said Makwetla who quickly added that only the ANC members has all it takes to correct the wrongs in the party.
The ANC must take responsibility to correct what is wrong, we cannot defer that responsibility to the opposition.” he said
Speaking also with regards to the motion of no confidence proposed to happen on April 18, Makwetla adding that the party cannot “aid” a vote that was not initiated by themselves.
The ANC has been at its ups and downs which is caused by the deepened disunity among party members. Currently, the party is turn between those supporting the President, Jacob Zuma and those supporting his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa.
The war further deepened after Zuma decided to reshuffle the cabinet thereby throwing out his detractors like Gordhann and his deputy Jonas.
Research analysts at Nomura referred to this move by Zuma as posturing from ‘team-Zuma’ – a power play that Gordhan would have to respond to.
“Either Gordhan obeys (the order) and Zuma is viewed as stronger, or Gordhan disobeys and challenges Zuma to fire him. If the roadshow continues then we will know what path is being taken,” Nomura analyst, Peter Attard Montalto said.
With all the power tussles described to be weakening the party, the MK Council steering committee still believes the ANC is the party that can best serve the country in order to achieve a “democratic and non-racial South Africa”.
The committee members however warned that the party could not do so in its current form and with its current leadership and that they would not defend individual members of the ANC but would continue to champion the ideals of the party.
“We joined the ANC because we thought the ANC is the best instrument to advance our national liberation. It’s country first.” said Nyanda.
The committee agreed to keep to their vow of defending the values and principles of the ANC, but frowned at the use of the MK uniform by people defending Luthuli House during last Friday’s anti-Zuma protest.
“As a former guerilla army, we took up arms in support of the angry protest of our people, today, the ones who want to defend or who pretend to be defending the head office against the angry protest of our people whom we fought for is a serious irony.
“We will not and shall not condone such activities. We never took an oath to find ourselves fighting against our own people.” said MK Council steering committee member Ka Shabangu.