Changes to the Constitution? Not yet, says ANC

ANC security guards confiscated equipment and accreditation from a group of journalists at the ANC policy conference at Gallagher Estate, Midrand. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

ANC security guards confiscated equipment and accreditation from a group of journalists at the ANC policy conference at Gallagher Estate, Midrand. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

 

"We have no intentions on the part of the ANC to change the Constitution at this point," Radebe told a press conference on Thursday.

Radebe's comments came a day after President Jacob Zuma called for radical changes to the economy in his opening address at the conference.

"We need to take the tough decisions we could not take in 1994," Zuma told delegates.

Zuma said there should be wide-scale changes to the current policies governing land reform and state intervention in the mineral sector. But, Radebe said this does not refer to any plans to alter the Constitution.

"We are proposing reforms [to the economy] but they will take place within the confines of the law," he said.

'Here to discuss policy'
But Radebe was not forthcoming when quizzed about the specifics of proposed polices that will address the changes proposed by Zuma.

"We are here to discuss policy, we are busy doing that and will report back to you once the commissions are finalised," Radebe said.

The conference is currently conducting commissions discussing various policy documents presented by the ruling party.

Meanwhile, ANC security and media faced off over access to delegates at the conference.

After initially conducting interviews with various party members in between commissions, the media were ordered back to their press office.

'Mishap'
ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza told reporters they would only be allowed to conduct interviews during the commission lunch break. But during the lunch break, ANC security confiscated accreditation tags and equipment from various media houses.

The Mail & Guardian's Oupa Nkosi's camera was taken away and his pictures from the day's proceedings deleted.

Security then told the affected journalists they would be barred for the rest of the conference.

The ANC waded into the milieu and returned the confiscated accreditation, labelling it a "mishap".

"It is not the policy of the ANC to do such things to the media and we apologise," Radebe said.

The ruling party also apologised for Nkosi's deleted photographs.

"Security is security.
Even ANC security does things that we don't understand. We apologise from the bottom of our hearts and we'll make sure there will be plenty of opportunities to take more pictures," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer is the Mail & Guardian's jack of all trades news reporter that chases down stories ranging from politics and sports to big business and social justice. Armed with an iPad, SLR camera, camcorder and dictaphone, he aims to fight ignorance and pessimism through written words, photographs and videos. He believes South Africa could be the greatest country in the world if only her citizens would give her a chance to flourish instead of dwell on the negativity. When he's not begging his sub-editors for an extra twenty minutes after deadline, he's also known to dabble in the occasional poignant column that will leave you mulling around in the depths of your psyche. The quintessential workaholic, you can also catch him doing sports on the weekday breakfast show on SAfm and presenting the SAfm Sports Special over the weekend. Read more from Nickolaus Bauer

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