3 July 2017

South Africa: Wrap - the ANC Policy Conference So Far

Photo: allafrica.com
Left: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Right: Former African Union Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The ANC's 5th policy conference is currently underway at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg. The conference started on Friday, and continues until Wednesday.

The conference is a gathering of about 3500 delegates from branches across the country to discuss the party's policies going into the elective conference in December, where changes and new policies will be ratified.

The conference spent the first two days looking into a diagnostic report into the state the ANC was in.

During the opening of the conference, President Jacob Zuma took an opportunity to lash out at opposition parties for continuously challenging government decisions in court, saying it goes against his understanding of democracy.

Zuma said the court challenges hindered the government from implementing its policies.

"I have never seen such democracy," Zuma said.

"I think these are matters we need to discuss very seriously as ANC because it is a counter to democracy - you can't do anything."

He said whenever opposition parties were defeated in Parliament, where the ANC has a majority, they would run to the courts, "where it doesn't have [a] majority".

Meanwhile, the party's secretary general Gwede Mantashe has criticised the party's leaders for trying to dismiss allegations around state capture by the politically connected Gupta family.

"A narrative was developed to link any discomfort with the influence of the Gupta family to the regime change agenda," Mantashe said on Friday.

He admitted that the series of the leaked #GuptaEmails indicating the extent of the family's influence on the executive and state-owned entities are harming the party. He demanded that those implicated must own up.

Zuma and Mantashe were also accused of telling ANC delegates attending the conference "shameful" lies about the 101 stalwarts.

ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang told News24 that:"They both know that what they told the delegates to the conference and, through the media, the South African public at large, about the ANC stalwarts and veterans, is patently untrue."

Zuma and Mantashe took jabs at the stalwarts, accusing them of disregarding the role of the branches at the conference, which is taking place at Nasrec Expo Centre, south of Johannesburg.

Zuma referred to the stalwarts who were boycotting the conference as "so called leaders" during his opening address to the policy conference.

But on Sunday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said there were no divisions among the more than 3000 delegates attending the conference.

"The delegates are in good spirit, there's unity of purpose and there aren't divisions as many people would have suspected," Ramaphosa told reporters during an exhibition of small business walk-about at the Nasrec Expo Centre.


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