Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe along with South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at a regional summit to discuss the situation in the Southern Africa region., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Motlanthe for president, says ANCYL
Monday, 23 July 2012 00:00
THE ANC Youth League has called on Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to become president, and made an indirect reference toward President Jacob Zuma serving only one term.
ANCYL President Ronald Lamola said it was a tradition in the ANC for deputy presidents to later be elected as president of the organisation.
“One day comrade Kgalema Motlanthe will become president of the ANC,” Lomola said.
“It is written in the history books of the ANC.”
Lamola was speaking at an ANCYL Nelson Mandela memorial lecture in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.
Immediately following his endorsement of Motlanthe, Lamola noted that Mandela had promised to serve only one term as state president.
“We are inspired by the man’s word,” Lamola said. “When he saw the nice life of the president of the country. He never let it divert (him) from that promise.”
Lamola also referenced the ousting of former ANC President AB Xuma with the help of the ANCYL at a conference in 1949.
“He was not even given those minutes to finish his term,” Lamola said to cheers from the audience.
Lamola also slammed ministers for poor service delivery and malfeasance and called for their firing.
Lamola singled out Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga for criticism.
“Those who say it was not their responsibility to deliver books must also be fired,” he said. Lamola criticised Molewa for not delivering water to Carolina.
He argued that ministers were quick to make claims that they would deliver but deflected blame when they came up short.
“When things go bad you say it is not your responsibility,” said Lamola.
He criticised Mthethwa for having a security fence built around his house with public funds.
“You cannot have a person where they built a security fence around his house and he does not know . . . how he gets in and out of his house,” asked Lamola.
Immediately after criticising Mthethwa, Lamola argued that public officials who don’t measure up should be fired despite who they support politically.
Lamola also defended the independence of the Youth League and argued that, using the example of Mandela, they should continue to push the ANC into more radical action.
“A child in any family must be different from its parents,” Lamola said. “If a child behaves like its parents, then there is no reason for the child to have been born.”
He defended the Youth League’s rough language and argued that in other developing countries such as China, government officials were younger.
“That is why (in China) you never see a sleeping politician in parliament,” Lamola said. “The politicians there even fight and moer each other. They moer each other because they are fighting for the direction of their country,” he said.
Lamola also lauded the youth and their talents before expanding the Youth League’s call for mine nationalisation to include land expropriation.
“(The youth) can be used in the mines we are going to nationalise and the land we are going to expropriate,” Lamola said.
He argued the state should not have to compensate farmers for their land because it had previously been stolen from indigenous Africans.
“We do not understand why we must pay them because they took it for free,” Lamola said. — News24.
Is Vavi eyeing an ANC crown at Mangaung?
23 Jul 2012 06:44 - Nickolaus Bauer
Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi is fast becoming a serious contender for a senior ANC leadership position in Mangaung.
Zwelinzima Vavi is emerging as a dark horse for a senior ANC leadership position in the run-up to ruling party’s next elective conference this December in Mangaung.
Stopping short of actually throwing his hat into the ring in the run-up to the ruling party’s next elective conference in Mangaung this December, Vavi is positioning himself as the focal point for change in the ANC.
"He realises change needs to come. He backed Zuma in Polokwane but he believes he hasn’t seen any tangible results. He now either has the option of backing someone else again or going it alone," an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member told the Mail & Guardian on condition of anonymity on Sunday.
In a week of barnstorming speeches, Vavi repeatedly called for a change in the current trajectory of the ANC, claiming the ruling party "didn't care anymore".
"We can't go to that [Mangaung] conference only worried about who will be president and deputy president. Political issues must be dealt with for a better future," Vavi told delegates at the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) bargaining conference in Centurion on Wednesday.
Vavi then followed this up with a call for the tripartite alliance to "prepare for battle" at the weekend.
"If the ANC were to collapse due to infighting or a failed revolution, it would shatter the dreams of the working class. Let us use our provincial and national congresses to forge policies and programmes of action which will arm us for the battles ahead," Vavi said on Saturday, at a regional Cosatu conference in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga.
These latest statements add to the rumours that Vavi is seen as a point man for the call for change in the party and that he is being lined up for a senior ANC position in the near future.
Officially though, Vavi is distancing himself from these rumours.
"No, I am not campaigning. If I was, then I wouldn’t be pushing for re-election within Cosatu," Vavi told the M&G on Sunday.
Earlier in 2012, Vavi stated he would be available to be re-elected as the trade federation’s secretary general, but did not completely rule out ever taking up a senior ANC position in the future.
"I think at some point Vavi has to weigh up his options and decide where to next. If that is Mangaung or the next ANC elective conference is unclear," Adam Habib, political commentator at the University of Johannesburg told the M&G.
However, Habib said that while a lot of names will be mentioned as possible members of an ANC leadership slate in the run-up to Mangaung, Vavi would be hesitant to take up any position that is "honourific".
"If the political climate does not afford him the opportunity to be offered something solid – as in something in the top three – I wouldn't see it happening," he added.
Habib said that Vavi may see himself as being more use outside of the ANC's formal leadership – as a kingmaker, rather.
"He's played a phenomenal role in South African politics. If the ANC were a bit savvier, they'd appreciate the legitimacy Vavi has offered the ruling party by being so vocal. If he were silent, there would be a perception the only people opposed to corruption are the media, civil society and opposition parties," he said.
'Rid of the old man'
Nonetheless, there are suggestions that a push for Vavi to enter the race for a senior ANC position would receive traction from the ANC Youth League.
A well-placed source on the league’s national executive committee – who requested anonymity – told the M&G that while Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe remained the Young Lions' first choice to replace Zuma at Mangaung, Vavi would receive their support if he was in the running.
"If he's serious and he can take on JZ then we can do it. The important thing is to get rid of the old man – that's it," the source said.
Meanwhile, Motlanthe has discounted a Sunday Times article claiming he rejected the proposition of remaining deputy president if Zuma was not challenged in Mangaung.
"We have not said anything about any apparent proposal. All we have said is that branches start the nomination process and he won’t engage in any campaigning," Thabo Masebe, Motlanthe’s spokesperson told the M&G.
Masebe added that Motlanthe would be guided by the people in the next role he fulfills in the ANC.
"The deputy president can’t go to the people and say he’s available for this and that, it’s for them to decide," he said.
Thus with Motlanthe yet to fully emerge as a contender in the race to Mangaung, that might just provide the space for Vavi to muscle in as either a potential kingmaker or quite possibly in to the higher echelons of ruling party leadership himself.