African National Congress (ANC) national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has called on ANC members to exercise unity in the wake of those “speaking out” about the organisation.
Kodwa was addressing the media on Wednesday at the ANC’s regional offices in Port Elizabeth ahead of the party’s Local Government Manifesto Launch set to take place at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at the weekend.
On Tuesday, the ANC in Gauteng called on President Jacob Zuma to reflect deeply and do the right thing to resolve the crisis in the party. The Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) held a special meeting on Monday to discuss the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the Nkandla debacle.
The PEC accepted Zuma’s public apology but believed mismanagement around the Nkandla matter had caused political damage and mistrust among South Africans.
Kodwa on Wednesday discouraged ANC members from “speaking out” about the organisation and said it was not in the interests of the party.
“It’s hurting the organisation, it’s damaging the image of the organisation..whether it’s veterans, whether it’s PECs ..it does not strengthen the ANC,” said Kodwa.
“We hope going forward that all our comrades will appreciate that at some point there are things we must do in order to make sure we strengthen the unity of the ANC,” he said.
ANC National Head of Campaigning, Nomvula Mokonyane, urged South Africans to respect and appreciate the internal processes that the ANC was dealing with.
“The issue of the Constitutional Court judgment, the ANC has never said let’s just move on. There has to be compliance with the decisions of the court and that rests with government. We think as the ANC we have identified things that we have to deal with internally, lessons we have learnt out of it. There is going to be an NEC in May and we hope that will bring it to finality,” said Mokonyane.
Kodwa also added that the ANC was not in Nelson Mandela Bay because the party was panicking.
“We have a contest in terms of the noise in Nelson Mandela Bay, but practically we don’t have a competition. Last year the ANC was put above 50 percent, the Democratic Alliance was just above 10 percent, so there is no real competition. What we have accepted is a very, very loud noise, there we are contested, because we can’t compete with that noise.”
Kodwa was confident that the ANC would retain Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and said that the party intended to turn the metro into a “small island” looking towards the build up to the manifesto launch on Saturday.
True to those sentiments, the ANC colours of yellow, green and black could be seen throughout Nelson Mandela Bay.
Street vendors selling branded ANC clothing were abuzz and local spaza shops near the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium have been decorated in bright paint in ANC colours.
The troops are definitely arriving with over 4 000 buses, 3 000 taxi’s, 2 500 marshals and four trains from the Free State all expected to arrive for the manifesto launch on Saturday.
Forty seven thousand supporters from Nelson Mandela Bay are expected at the stadium, while the ANC was hoping to target over 100 000 supporters all in all come launch day.
Although Mokonyane could not confirm the costs of the launch and other events, she did say it was a “huge investment”.
The party’s theme this year is “local government is in your hands” and the ANC is expected to put extensive focus on the “youth vote”.
ANC Provincial Secretary Oscar Mabuyane said that generally young people in Nelson Mandela Bay were disgruntled because of unemployment.
A delegation was expected to visit ward 41 in Port Elizabeth Northern Areas, where the situation is currently volatile due to residents being relocated.
“We are going there because its a turbulent space, indeed there is a threat. We are going there to say that the ANC is in charge, we are going there because our people must feel free,” said Mabuyane.
Late on Wednesday afternoon ANC Deputy Secretary Jessie Duarte was also expected to meet with branches and ANC allies, including SANCO and COSATU. – African News Agency (ANA)