13 July 2017

South Africa: Vytjie Mentor Predicts ANC 'Splinter'

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has predicted the ruling party is headed for a major split come the party's national elective conference in December.

Mentor told the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday about her book No Holy Cows in which she details alleged sexual harassment in the ruling party, including two incidents she claimed she experienced with President Jacob Zuma.

- Read more: 'Zuma tried his luck on me, twice' - Mentor

During a round of questions, Mentor shared her thoughts on the ANC's short-term prospects in the race for party president, and it was not good news in her view.

"The ANC needs a bit of space and time to deal with its mess, the mess it has exported to the economy and to South Africa," she told the room.

"I can promise you now there will be a splinter coming out of the ANC. Don't look for power coming out of the ANC or elsewhere. Look to yourselves.

"How can you look to a party who brought us this mess, to salvage the mess?"

She suggested that the eventual winner of the party's presidential race may mean very little in changing the party's fate come the 2019 general elections.

"There will be a conference in December. If Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wins the presidency, it may be the quick end to the ANC. If Cyril takes over it might not be as quick.

"We don't want chaos, or a civil war. I hope the ANC will correct its mess.

"But if you look at history, parties that promised certain things and became endemically corrupt, inevitably lose power and take a long time to recover."

'Can state capturers be dislodged?'

She said there were still good people in the ANC though, but that the ANC was "its own enemy", and was "killing itself".

"I don't know why we are so transfixed on the ANC. The country can fix itself."

Mentor, who has been an open critic of the Gupta family, was very thoughtful on the prospects of overcoming the so-called "predator class", or those accused of trying to "capture" state-owned enterprises.

"Dislodging the predators will be a mammoth task, because they are deeply entrenched. They were left alone for too long," she said in answer to a question.

"I think people are seeing it is possible for the tide to turn by way of a new dispensation...

"But the question is how? A general election in 2019? If that is the case, how much damage would have occurred between now and then?"

She hoped South Africans could solve the problem beyond party political lines.

'How will ANC vote in no confidence motion?'

With regards to the pending vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma scheduled for August 8, Mentor did not want to divulge too much on what she knew.

"I am cautious on discussing how current serving MPs will vote or may vote, because just touching on that topic with some of them, could mean I'm trying to influence how they would vote.

"I think we are putting it to their consciences to do the right thing.

"...If it doesn't happen [though], is that the end of the problems? I don't think so," she said later.

When asked what she thought it would mean if Zuma survived the motion, she said, "That the ANC does not have the will or the capability of doing the right thing".

She also spoke out against the culture of intimidation festering in the party, following high profile incidents involving herself and other members, including ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza.

Women 'soft targets' for intimidation

She reached out to Khoza recently to lend her support, and empathised with her "dire situation" in terms of security.

"I know who the thugs are that are intimidating me. I would be lying if I could tell you who is intimidating Dr Khoza. I know about three women other than doctor Khoza who have also [been intimidated]."

She said the people intimidating her were "Zuma supporters and members of state capture". The vast majority on Facebook or social media do not concern her, but there have been other more serious threats made.

"I got a call from the Northern Cape from a person who is a retired spy, who was sent by someone to warn me."

She said she would be very reluctant though to take state protection.

"I think I might die in the hands of the very ones who could be sent under the pretext that they are protecting me." She had faith in the police who patrolled her area.

She said she knew of two men who also joined the Democratic Alliance following safety threats they had received.

"But I think women are soft targets in terms of being intimidated," she added.

Source: News24

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