/ 28 August 2016

“If there are wrongs in the ANC, we must speak,” say Mashatile and Tau

Paul Mashatile.
Paul Mashatile.

ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile and former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau have called on members to speak out when “wrongs” are being done within the party.

Speaking at the funeral of Johannesburg city councillor Nonhlanhla Mthembu in Naturena, in the south of Johannesburg, which was aired on SABC, Mashatile said the party needed to listen to its people and “fix” things.

“As our people cry out against corruption, we must respond. As our people cry out against the high fees of e-tolls we must respond,” he said. “We must tell our people ‘we have heard you’ and we will do away with the high fees… and find other ways to fund the infrastructure.”

Mashatile said the ANC must listen to people’s complaints about corruption within state-owned enterprises, and fix that problem. “Let us respond when our people cry out to state capture,” he said to applause.

He encouraged members to speak out against wrongs also taking place within the party itself. “As we go forward and there are wrong things happening even within our movement, we must speak. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal,” he said.

Mashatile described the loss of Joburg and Tshwane metros during the local government elections as being “self-inflicted”, saying the ANC needed to learn to listen when its people said they were unhappy about elected councillors.

“I want to take this opportunity to say to comrade Parks [Tau] and your team in Joburg you have done well. The fact that we have lost Johannesburg is not your fault,” Mashatile said.

During his address earlier, Tau said losing Tshwane, Johannesburg as well as Nelson Mandela Bay would help the party to realise what was really at stake. “Whilst it is a setback, maybe it will jolt us in the correct path,” Tau said to applause. “I shouldn’t say ‘maybe’ because it must jolt us in the correct path.”

The ANC needed to confront ineptitude, corruption, the abuse of state agencies as well as the abuse of the state resources the party had been entrusted with to change the quality of life of the people of South Africa.

“If we do not stand up, we risk the gains of our revolution, we risk the advancement of the transformation agenda and indeed we risk South Africa itself,” Tau said.

Councillor Mthembu died after collapsing during proceedings of the Johannesburg City Council on Monday. The 50-year-old died shortly after nominations were announced for mayor. Two paramedics helped her out of the hall earlier.

Mthembu, fondly known as ‘Black Diamond’ and ‘Stompi’, was a long-standing member of the party and a councillor from 2011 to 2016. She had been re-elected to serve another term. – News24