Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina on Friday lashed out at African National Congress (ANC) alliance partners, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), for their criticism of President Jacob Zuma and calls that he should step down.
Masina said Cosatu and SACP sought to dictate who should lead the governing party.
“This new phenomenon from the SACP and Cosatu to seek to dictate who should lead the ANC is foreign and must be condemned in the strongest terms. People cannot sit in the national executive committee, lose [influence] on decisions and then insult the very same decisions taken,” Masina told delegates at the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) elective conference currently underway in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.
The ANC would not allow the “hijacking of the alliance” by those who did not want to be part of it anymore, he added.
“Sit down as leadership of ANC and alliance and sort out differences…instead of banning each other from addressing forums because that is un-ANC…that is not how the ANC has been doing things,” said Masina, who is also ANC Ekurhuleni chairperson.
The SACP and Cosatu have in recent times joined growing calls to Zuma to step down. Cosatu went further and banned Zuma from taking part in its events.
He urged the other structure of former soldiers and generals, the MK council led by former SA National Defence Force (SANDF) general Siphiwe Nyanda, to work together with the MKMVA.
“It cannot be that because you are former soldiers of MK as individuals in your own little corners, you think you have a monopoly of wisdom and create structures as and when you want outside of the ANC decision-making,” he said to a loud applause from delegates.
“We call upon the MK council to come here, as this is a formal platform created for them, to engage with the members seated here today.”
The MKMVA, led by its chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe, is holding its fifth conference amidst divisions after four of its leaders boycotted the conference due to what they called membership irregularities. The four – MKMVA executive committee member Ike Moroe, its deputy chairperson Teenage Monama, general secretary Dumisani Nduli and his deputy Tshidiso Paka – claimed that they had it on on good authority that about 60 percent of the more than 700 conference delegates that were registered were not members in good faith.
They urged the ANC to halt the illegitimately convened MKMVA conference.
Warring factions within former MK soldiers and generals saw the MKMVA renegade on its pledge to unite and work with the MK national council. The two claim to represent the interests of the former MK soldiers, but are yet to form a united front.
Nyanda and members of the MK council this week labeled the MKMVA conference as a means to sow further divisions within the ANC. The council also announced that it would not take part in the upcoming ANC policy conference after the party’s top leadership snubbed their request for a consultative conference, separate from the policy conference.
Zuma would deliver a keynote address at the conference on Friday.
Other members of the ANC national executive committee present at the conference included Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti.