There is the possibility of a different outcome in the ANC national elective conference.
This was the warning from Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali to delegates at the South African Democratic Teachers Union’s national general council.
The ANC is set to elect a president in December this year. South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande – who also is the minister of higher education and training – basic education minister Angie Motshekga – also ANC deployee – and Ntshalintshali delivered their messages of support at the four-day Sadtu council meeting, which kicked off at Sadtu’s offices in Kempton Park this afternoon.
The presidential hopefuls are: ANC deputy and the country’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC member of Parliament Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ANC national treasurer Zweli Mkhize, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and former ANC MP Mathews Phosa.
Ramaphosa was scheduled to deliver a keynote address tomorrow.
Ntshalintshali said Sadtu’s support for Ramaphosa could be hampered by corruption within the ANC.
“If we are using the views of the majority of South Africa he will be elected unopposed. But ... in the ANC there are gatekeepers.”
He cited an example of comrades who refused to allow others to participate in branch general meetings because their names were not on the audited lists.
“Elections are conducted by money, comrades,” Ntshalintshali said.
He said comrades were told in the past to take a picture of their ballot paper when they had voted, in order to get paid.
Comrades also disrupted conferences if things were not going according to the plan, he said.
Ntshalintshali said delegates needed to pray and canvass for Ramaphosa to succeed.
“Prayers won’t be enough,” Ntshalintshali said.
He said the country was a ticking time bomb, crippled by unemployed and high levels of poverty.
“We are in a crisis. Let’s condemn corruption and state capture ... The working class will be the worst affected. This fight cannot be postponed for another generation. People who trouble us are our own age and peers.”
Nzimande said the chaos that happened in the Eastern Cape provincial conference over the weekend was a disgrace to the alliance.
He said alliance partners in the Eastern Cape needed to submit reports to national office to explain what happened and caused disruptions in the Eastern Cape.
There was a need for deep analyses of state capture within the alliance, he said.
Nzimande said the national democratic revolution was in danger of being derailed.
He also criticised ANC members for saying that the alliance must not discuss the party – the ANC was a people’s movement tasked to lead society.
“When some in the ANC says we must shut up then they don’t lead the national democratic revolution,” he said.
He said political education was weakening in the alliance because the only political education some comrades knew was how to prevent people from participating in branch meetings.
Nzimande said there were questions needed to be answered on whether the alliance was viable in its current form or needed to be reconfigured and the ANC needed to be rescued.
He said also what needed to be debated was whether the SACP had to contest elections while workers support Ramaphosa for presidency.
Motshekga believed that the majority of South Africans supported the public education system and there was a lot of work that had been done.
“But there is still a lot to be done,” she said.