President Jacob Zuma has condemned the tendency of discussing leadership succession before the period is opened, including leaders whom he says are obsessed with positions.
President Zuma was addressing thousands of ANC supporters gathered in KwaDukuza during the party’s 105 year celebrations.
ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize and some NEC members including Malusi Gigaba, Nathi Mthethwa, Siyabonga Cwele and former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu attended the provincial celebrations.
Zuma says it is premature for party members to discuss and pronounce in public their preferred candidates ahead of the ANC National Conference later this year, before the official nomination period has been opened.
He also stressed the importance of unity in the organisation: “There is a tendency, we don’t know how we are going to deal with it, people are obsessed with positions, and they are positioning themselves to be elected through slates. We must refrain from discussing leadership contestation for now; the time has not come as yet. If you do that you are showing us what type of a leader you are – whether a unifying leader or distracting leader.”
President Zuma also told the masses that the ANC is busy reviewing guidelines of selecting party candidates to ensure that alleged manipulation of the candidate selection does not happen in future.
In some areas the party did not do well on elections as a result of the alleged manipulation of the candidate selection process.
“We have seen and heard concerns by our people that we forced candidates down their throats. We are busy crafting plans to deal with that. We even heard that there are some who think they are clever by manipulating the process. In future the national leadership will be the one that will preside over the BGMs. In future a decision that will be taken at the branch will no longer have to go to region and the provincial office before being sent to the head office. Now it goes straight to the ANC headquarters.”
Earlier on Sunday SABC News aired an exclusive interview with the President. President Zuma spoke to three SABC radio stations during the week, which was recorded for TV as well. He spoke about a number of issues about the ANC, among them was the issue of the ruling party’s succession debate.[Source: Zuma]