Congress of Traditional rulers for South Africa (Contralesa) which represents organised SA traditional leaders in the country has threatened to leave the ruling party and form a new one.
The congress stated this having been fed up with ANC’s internal rift and the continuous sidelining of the traditional leaders in the decision-making processes of the party.
The group says it will cut ties with the ANC and form a new party which would contest in the next election.
Contralesa is part of the mass democratic movement, and has traditionally voted for, and encouraged its subjects to vote for the ruling party. But disdained by the decisions of the National Executive Council, the SA traditional leaders plan to gear their political effort away from the Party into the creation of a new and safer party.
Contralesa’s national general council (NGC), running from October 28 to 30 in Johannesburg, will decide whether to adopt or reject the decision that was taken by the national executive committee.
The congress, however, held a special meeting of its general council in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, where the members said they were disappointed in ANC’s arrogance.
There, some SA traditional leaders believe active politics is for politicians and traditional leaders should spend their energy on strengthening and unifying their institution.
“We were supposed to have taken it in 1994. Traditional leaders love the ANC due to the historic ties they have since the ANC’s formation, but the current ANC leadership sees no value to cherish that.” Thobejane and secretary-general Chief Xolile Ndevu said, adding that the move was long overdue.
He said the problems that had strained the relations between the ANC and Contralesa, and later the government, were a result of the failure by the ANC to engage the organisation in political discussions.
“Without political power, we might find ourselves being irrelevant at the end of the day. So we want to play closer to political power to move forward,” said Thobejane,
“The two organisations have ended up second-guessing each other, and in the process accumulating presumptions and prejudices against each other,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ANC national spokesman Zizi Kodwa refused to comment on the issue claiming it was a “heresy”.
“If Contralesa has issues with the ANC, they must deal directly with us. We have a cordial relationship with Contralesa,” said Kodwa.
ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said “it would be better for the two organisations to revive and strengthen their relations than parting ways”.
“Contralesa is part of the mass democratic movement structures. We must work towards improving relations. Contralesa is us and we believe in their leadership,” said Mabuyane.