While fights against President Jacob Zuma and his close allies, the Guptas continue both within the ruling party and across the South African Nation, the ANC’s national chairperson, Baleka Mbete says the people are fighting the wrong people.
Directing her message to members of the ruling African National Congress, Baleka Mbete, who is also the speaker of Parliament, said Zuma and the influence of the Guptas are not the main problems facing the tripartite alliance.
Rather than fighting Zuma and his government, the tripartite alliance should instead focus on dealing with issues of poverty, inequality, and unemployment, she said, pointing out to them that these were part of the assessment that was agreed on as the alliance.
“That at a particular moment, some partner was angered by something is not the primary issue that divides us,” Mbete said,
“If we sit and apply our minds calmly, it cannot be true that those two issues are the biggest problems that we have right now,” she added.
Mbete said the issue of Zuma and the Guptas was raised last year within the alliance, and processes to talk about it started but were never concluded and that perhaps, the party needs to go back to the issue and process it fully.
Addressing the media a while after addressing a Cosatu march in Durban where a small section of the crowd, mainly SACP members from Inchanga, booed her and the ANC’s provincial chairperson, Mbete refused to comment on disruptions at some of the rallies in other parts of the country saying she had not received the full information on what transpired at those gatherings.
Mbete tried to put up a brave face and continued with her speech despite repeated boos from the crowd who gestured for her to leave the stage.
Meanwhile, speaking ahead of the May-day celebration, Mbete had said that there was no campaigning under way for the ANC presidency position ahead of the party’s elective conference in December.
She said in an interview in Port Elizabeth this weekend, that the party has expressed itself very clear earlier in the year to say there is no race, there is no campaign.
It’s therefore not expected that ANC cadres should be engaging in activities that are campaign inclined, she said, adding that people might be making statements in response to certain issues and might be quoted out of context. “The statements they are saying may not necessarily be meaning they are campaigning.”
When asked if Dlamini-Zuma was the best female candidate for the party, Baleka swayed away from the issue, saying they were not allowed to make comments about who would be or not be the party’s future leader.
“Anybody engaging in campaigns will be viewed as unofficial, can be viewed as defiantly breaking the rules of the ANC. It can lead to disciplinary action, provided it is proved to be campaigning,” she said.