ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has used his address to the party’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference to rally support for Jacob Zuma, praising the former president for the “most revolutionary” decisions taken during his term of office.
Magashule, who delivered the opening address to the conference on behalf of the ANC national leadership, likened Zuma to earlier presidents of the former liberation movement including Pixley Ka Seme, John L Dube, Albert Luthuli and Josia Gumede.
Describing Zuma as “for now, the last serving president from this province”, an apparent reference to Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whose failed presidential bid last December he backed, Magashule said Zuma “continued to build on this rich legacy of the unity of our movement and our people.”
“During his tenure, we have seen the ANC taking some of the most revolutionary and bold decisions to accelerate the programme for the radical socio-economic transformation of our society,” he said.
Magashule credited Zuma’s leadership with the conference decision, taken in December, to expropriate land without compensation.
He also praised Zuma for the achievement of free education and the radical economic transformation policy.
“Your revolutionary work and leadership will decorate the annals of our history books. You have been brave enough to confront the domination of white monopoly capital over the stronghold of our socio economic foundations,” Magashule said.
“It is only those who are honest, those who are revolutionary, those who love this movement at heart, and those whose interest is to attain the wishes and aspirations of our people, who will appreciate this extraordinary work you have done for the people of our country,” he said.
“We will always come to you borrow your wisdom. The wisdom of how to preserve this precious baton, you have entrusted into our hands,” he said.
“Your decisive decisions during your tenure, represent a leap forward in our century old struggles for the freedom and equality of the people of our country.”
The conference had gotten off to a late start after ANC members from the Lower South Coast and Moses Mabhida region went to the Pietermaritzburg High Court in a failed bid to interdict the conference from going ahead. Last month a different group of ANC members from four regions went to the same court and won a court order to stop the conference from sitting. However, after meetings with the ANC’s national dispute resolution committee, they withdrew the application and reached an out of court settlement with the party provincial task team.
Zikalala is expected to be elected unopposed as he features on both the “status quo” slate — which wants all the leaders elected in November 2015 returned to office — and the “unity” slate.
The latter also features provincial task team convener Mike Mabuyakhulu as Zikalala’s deputy, MPL Mdumiseni Ntuli as secretary, Ukahlamba regional secretary Sipho Hlomuka as deputy secretary. Both slates want sitting treasurer Nomusa Dube-Nube to be re-elected.
The “status quo” slate features Super Zuma as secretary, Premier Willies Mchunu as deputy chairperson and Mluleki Ndobe as deputy secretary.