Love for money and top positions are two main sources of evil that have undermined the character of the African National Congress, party President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.
“Money and positions have undermined the ANC. They sought to change the character and values of the ANC,” President Zuma told delegates attending the formation of the party’s veterans’ league at Gauteng’s Esselen Park.
President Zuma was launching the ANC Veterans League, the ANC’s third league which will be afforded similar voting rights to those of the youth and women’s leagues.
President Zuma said some in the ANC were involved in underhand tactics to ensure that they received positions of power so that they would have access to money.
“We have people who pay others a lot of money as a way of bribing them to vote for them during ANC conferences.
These people approach others in the dark and give them money to support them,” said President Zuma.
He urged members of the new league to ensure there was discipline in the party which was being destroyed by the love of money and positions.
“We need your guidance to ensure that the ANC does not lose its focus.
“We need you to make sure that the ANC is not used for personal gains.”
The league was in a good position to enforce discipline as most of its members were not hungry for positions and had devoted their lives to the party.
“There is a need for your guidance to inculcate utmost discipline. We have seen shocking occurrences where people come to ANC meetings carrying weapons.
“We really need discipline in our movement,” President Zuma said.
According to the ANC constitution, a veteran is a person who is 60-years and older.
The league would comprise former liberation prisoners, ex uMkhonto weSizwe combatants and people who had given uninterrupted service to the ANC, said President Zuma. He warned members of the new league not to get involved in the ANC’s internal conflicts.
“The veterans’ role is very important. You are the reservoir of knowledge, custodians of values and traditions of the ANC. The ANC must come and listen to the wisdom of the veterans.”
It was in the veterans’ league where people would get information on how the South African liberation was fought, how the historic freedom charter was drafted and how liberation fighters were killed by the former regime, he said.
He urged the veterans not to keep quiet if they saw ANC leaders and ordinary member doing bad things. The veterans would also politically educate younger party members.
“You (veterans) must not be intimidated by the level of education among young people. Some speak big English and think that they know politics. They need to receive proper political education,” President Zuma said.
The league’s Mabhalane Booyi said the veterans would play a huge role in teaching young ANC members discipline and politics.
“We are happy that Zuma has given this task. We have always wanted to contribute meaningfully in this movement,” he said.
The first day of the three-day conference was attended by more than 400 delegates from all nine provinces and ANC National Executive member Fikile Mbalula.
Former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki did not attend despite reports that they might be there.
(www.sapa.org.za; 20091204 / www.thestar.co.za; 20091205) –
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