Netshitenzhe accused of misrepresenting ANC view on ‘white monopoly capital’

Joel Netshitenzhe, a member of the ANC national executive committee, has refused to apologise for saying the strategy and tactics commission had decided to reject the term “white monopoly capital”. 

He presented the commission’s resolutions at the ANC’s national policy conference in Soweto on Tuesday, but was confronted in the main plenary on Wednesday and accused of misrepresenting the commission’s outcome.

Jacob Zuma’s backers, including the Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal branches, pushed for Netshitenzhe to be kicked out of the plenary, accusing him of ill-discipline – but this not supported by the majority of delegates.

Netshitenzhe told journalists on Tuesday night that the move to recognise “white monopoly capital” in ANC policy was overwhelmingly defeated, with nine out of 11 commissions saying monopoly capital exists in different forms.

Gwede Mantashe, the chairperson of the conference’s steering committee, walked to the podium to reiterate that Netshitenzhe was wrong for revealing the number of commissions that rejected the proposal and apologised on the commission’s behalf.

Delegates in the plenary accepted Mantashe’s apology but a delegate from KZN insisted that Netshitenzhe should apologise. A request for him to do so was made by the session’s chairperson Jeff Radebe, but Netshitenzhe refused to.

“He never apologised. [He said] ‘I will face the consequences but I won’t apologise.’ Some were pushing for him to be disciplined but the ANC are very soft on issues that might cause divisions,” a delegates who was in the main plenary session told the M&G on condition of anonymity.

The commission outcome was then amended to read that although the ANC does not believe that monopoly capital is limited to white people, in South Africa it has a racial character which cannot be ignored or denied.

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Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

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