Gauteng ANC backtracks on Nkandla

Paul Mashatile (Gallo)

Paul Mashatile (Gallo)

The ANC in Gauteng has backtracked on its previous position that President Jacob Zuma’s public apology for the Nkandla matter is “not enough”.

Gauteng ANC’s provincial executive committee said that rather than discuss issues in “dark corners” it should express its view publicly. 

In an interview with the Mail & Guardian in April, chairperson Paul Mashatile said the provincial executive committee felt that the apology alone was not enough to restore the confidence of the people in the ANC.

Mashatile made an about-turn this weekend. Speaking during a media briefing of the Gauteng ANC’s provincial general council on Sunday, Mashatile admitted that they had ‘jumped the gun’ by releasing a statement on the matter without consulting the different branches. 

This about-turn comes after President Jacob Zuma addressed the provincial general council on Friday, urging the ANC in Gauteng to focus on unity and ensure that they win all the municipalities in the upcoming local elections. “The branches were speaking with one voice and the mood was very vibrant as we all accepted the apology,” said Mashatile.

Nkandla ruling
Zuma was forced to make a public apology after the Constitutional Court found that he failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the country. The ruling concerned his failure to implement the remedial actions recommended by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela for the security upgrades at Nkandla.

The Gauteng ANC has been divided on Zuma’s apology and has also been attacked from all sides by other regions, notably Kwazulu-Natal and North West, for its stance. 

The Gauteng ANC leadership said they decided to accept Zuma’s apology and focus all its energy on its election machinery.
Its provincial manifesto will be launched at the FNB stadium in the first weekend in June.

Mashatile said the movement will continue to reflect on the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the Nkandla matter, but warned that the Gauteng region will not accept that provinces dictate what decisions to take in organisational matters.

The Gauteng ANC rubbished reports in the Sunday Times that an internal survey by the party indicated that it will only be able to attract less than 40% of the votes in the local elections. “Our election machinery is well oiled and we are very confident of victory come August 3,” said Mashatile.

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