Politics – Messages from Numsa comrades and ANC members

Messages from Numsa and anc members to delegates to the ANC’s National Conference, Limpopo

Sodibana eLimpopoThe battle lines have been drawn between those that seek to be at the helm of the ANC and their supporters. There are masters and servants in the understanding of the traditions, values and norms of the ANC (kuya le kuye le). The comrades who have been brewed and matured through the ranks of the ANC all of a sudden have a different meaning and understanding of the ANC. All of them remain glued to their view that they understand the ANC better than anyone else within the ANC. The ANC needs to be managed after Limpopo. But the utterances now are not going to be forgotten. There has been a lot of discussion before the leadership race on how the alliance should refrain from using the media as a boxing ring and rather use the internal structures of the alliance effectively.This is because the public narrows this debate to: “What is in it for me if so and so leads? Will I be able to secure a tender or position in the state apparatus?” This is a narrow view that must not be entertained although one cannot open the hearts of those that support a particular contestant to see their real reasons.The ANC developed a theoretical document on how leadership should be measured in order to arrive at a conclusive decision on who must lead. Through the eye of the needle was and still is a relevant document to determine leadership. Unfortunately it is nowhere to be found in the current debate and is gathering dust in the cupboards of members. I doubt if they even remember that the document exists.Instead members of the alliance components continue to vilify each other and tell how others have not been able to live up to the norms and standards of the ANC. The ANC is an omnibus movement. It caters for all ideologies and the ideology that will prevail at a certain point will be that of a motive force at a particular juncture. That ideology cannot only find expression through the electoral process. The election must be the outcome of how ideology has embedded itself in the members and the policies of the organisation. The working class is the motive force in the ANC but immediately it shows signs of indecisiveness, you will have policy positions argued very strongly that show that capital is in fact the motive force.

Is Limpopo just a race for power?Is the Limpopo race based on principle issues or is it just a race for power? Will whoever holds power be able to make fundamental policy changes or will they sustain the current policies of the ANC which are supposed to inform the state direction?The content of the Limpopo Conference must shape the next five years of the ANC. Key to that are the powers of the presidency which address most concerns which have been raised by members of the ANC. The issue of the Scorpions, skills development, economy etc are also issues that remain contentious. We are currently bearing the brunt of inflation targeting since Tito Mboweni continues to increase the interest rate without fear of the impact it has on the poor. “The people shall share in the country’s wealth” – that’s what the Freedom Charter seeks to achieve. These are the debates which must be at the centre of Limpopo. But will these debates be intense because to start with they were not at branch level? We need proper focused delegates who will not be deterred by the issue of leadership.The majority of delegates in the conference will be the working class. Their responsibility is to look after their interests because their struggle is shaped by their position in society. The current unbalanced growth and development cannot be accepted. The continuation of monopolies which defeat the basic foundation of the Freedom Charter must be eradicated by the conference.Important issues that override leadership must be properly ironed out in order to inform what kind of leadership will be able to take them forwards using the correct tools of analysis. I would like to wish the ANC conference good luck and hope that robust debate will prevail without fear or favour both on policy matters and leadership. Remember, the Freedom Charter calls for the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopolies to be transferred to those who live in it. The delegates should also remember the document, Through the eye of the needle when electing our leaders.Let the conference begin!

Xolisile Copiso, local organiser, Queenstown local

Stop criticising Zuma!

We are tired of the ANC’s criticism of Zuma and his supporters. It was rape then corruption later ‘Umshini Wami’ slogan and now the t-shirts. Enough is enough!I want to remind them of what happened to the strong Pan African Congress (PAC) and Clarence Makwetu at the University of the North. It was criticisms like these that brought him and the PAC down. Makwetu uttered that the then president of the country and of the ANC was a puppet and the whole arena went out and left him alone.So the ANC must also watch their step and stop banning Zuma t-shirts. They are making him more popular everyday. We won’t stop supporting him – there are so many things that they must consider eg unemployment and the crime rate in this country instead of nagging at each other.Not forgetting the HIvirus that is killing our workers and the nation as a whole.We’re sick and tired of their criticisms that are not building the nation but destroying the party. What they are doing is discrimination and barbaric attitude. What did he do to them? Why are they fighting him so much? Or has the gravy train become so sweet that they forget that he’s their fellow comrade and cadre who fought so hard for his entire life. No, no, no! this is too much!John Mpharam Chiloane, Scaw SA, Jhb Central Local