Challenging times!The last few weeks have been momentous for the country. As close allies of the ANC and as active residents of our country, we reproduce for you an extract of the ANC NEC decision on the reason for the recall of President Mbeki.

'Focus on the challenges facing our people'Statement by ANC President Jacob Zuma on behalf of the ANC National Executive Committee, 22 September 2008.

THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of the ANC met over the weekend of 19-21 September 2008, to deliberate on various pertinent issues. After careful debate and discussion the NEC decided to recall Comrade Thabo Mbeki.

This was one of the most difficult decisions the NEC has ever had to take in the history of the ANC. We fully understand that the decision comes with a degree of pain to Comrade Mbeki, his family, friends, members of the ANC, ordinary South Africans and members of the international community with whom we interact.

Comrade Mbeki has devoted decades of his life to the ANC and our country. The decision to recall him was not taken lightly, but it had to be taken in the interests of making the country move forward.

The country needs a strong and united ruling party at the helm of government, capable of galvanising support for the government's development agenda.As the ruling party we need to sustain the confidence of our people in the ANC and its government.

Once this level of confidence is weakened, the ANC has no alternative but to take action. We appreciate the cooperation of Comrade Mbeki and the dignified manner with which he has conducted himself during this difficult situation.

When we met with President Thabo Mbeki on Friday morning, ahead of the NEC discussion, he said that as a disciplined cadre of the movement he would readily accept and abide by any decision of the organisation and subject himself to its wishes.

The ANC prides itself on having leaders who rise to the occasion, who put the organisation and the country first, no matter how challenging the circumstances may be. Comrade Mbeki will continue to be given tasks as a cadre and one of the senior leaders of the movement.

We are united in our appreciation of the important role that Comrade Mbeki has played in the organisation and broader liberation movement….It should be borne in mind that Comrade Mbeki led an ANC government.

We therefore expect a smooth transition, as this is not a change of party but only leadership in government. We call upon all ANC Ministers and Deputy Ministers, to continue their work and serve the people of our country, supported by the Public Service, which is not affected at all by these changes.

The ANC led by its President and the NEC will now focus energies on preparing for the 2009 elections and the new administration next year.

After the elections, the ANC will take further the fight against crime to build safer communities, as stated in our Polokwane resolutions. We will focus more on improving the quality of health service delivery and the reduction of diseases such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and others.

We will prioritise education and skills development, as well as land and agrarian reform, as key tools in the fight against poverty. We have decided to make the creation of decent work opportunities the primary focus of our economic policies.

This means we have to achieve sound economic growth and development, in spite of the global economic crisis.Our economic policies will remain stable, progressive and unchanged, as decided upon in previous ANC national conferences including Polokwane.

We will take forward the transformation of our criminal justice system, to promote access to justice for all, poor and rich, rural and urban, men and women.The rule of law and the independence of the judiciary are amongst the most fundamental principles in our country's Constitution, which the ANC will always protect and defend.

We would like to underline that we acknowledge and accept the ruling of Justice Chris Nicholson and reiterate that we will, as always, abide by the decisions of this and all courts in our country.

We appreciate the prevailing atmosphere of calmness and maturity that has accompanied the recall. We have clearly matured as a democracy and we should all be proud.

We have made a painful and difficult decision, and we are convinced that it will bring about much needed stability in government and public life and enable us to focus on the challenges facing our country."From: www.anc.org.za

Trade unionist becomes president of South Africa On September 25 Kgalema Motlanthe made South African history when he became the first trade unionist to be elected president of the country.

He follows in the footsteps of other trade unionists that have done their countries proud like 'Lula' da Silva in Brazil.Numsa salutes comrade Motlanthe and wishes him well in his new post.


Numsa News