Deputy secretary-general of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Jessie Duarte, has called on members of the party to maintain calmness and be well-behaved in the coming local government election.
The ruling party’s deputy secretary-general made this comment following the ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile’s call to ANC members to stop fighting over candidate lists.
The ruling party witnessed a faction-fuelled violent protests in Tshwane, KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town last month over candidate lists and the party blamed it on numerous factors, including ‘thuggery taking over politics’, tribalism and even the media.
Duarte called on members to resist every temptation by the media to act out violently.
“We unconditionally condemn any form of violence and intimidation and ANC members must not allow themselves drawn into violence the media or anyone else. They must resist any forms of temptation by journalists to become excitable because that is not who we are, we are. We want a peaceful election.”
Duarte’s comments echoed that of ANC’s Gauteng chairperson, Paul Mashatile who told members at the election manifesto for Ekurhuleni last week Thursday to “relax” and trust the internal democratic processes of the ANC.
Five SACP members has so far been suspended in connection with the Tshwane violence as the party took the moral high ground, saying that while they would not attempt to interfere in how the ANC dealt with their internal issues, they would not allow their own members to be party to the violence.
The party, which is a partner of the tripartite alliance partner in the same breath, called on the ruling party to investigate the root cause of factionalism and tribalism in their Tshwane branches, which according to them, is traced back to 2011.
The ANC on its own part, has suspended one of its members implicated in a violent protest that broke out on Borcherds Quarry road and led to the torching of two buses on the N2 last week.
SABC Crisis Stems from ANC Orders
As the election day draws closer, the ruling party gets linked to several controversial issues in the country. One of such is the revelation by the former SABC acting chief executive Jimi Matthews that the crisis that now rocked the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) stems from the orders given by the ruling party.
Speaking during a television interview at the weekend, Matthews admitted to being part of a politically motivated decision-making body that led to the public broadcaster limiting coverage of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Matthew’s confession stands as a proof the extent to which the SABC has deviated from its principles of good public broadcasting.
It is however surprising how the ANC can now demand that the crisis at the SABC be investigated when those behind the unrest are simply executing the orders of the ruling party.