Veterans’ Warning Disturbs ANC

Jacob Zuma and his Deputy Kgalema Motlanthe
Jacob Zuma and his Deputy Kgalema Motlanthe

The ANC has expressed disquiet at the party’s military veterans’ warning to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe not to contest the position of president.

“This statement amounts to a threat, which is in violation of the ANC constitution which allows any member… in good standing to be eligible… to any position in the organisation,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Thursday.

“There is no place for threats and coercion in the ANC and its structures.”

Last week, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) warned Motlanthe that if he challenged President Jacob Zuma for the ANC’s presidency, it would not support him.

“We will support Kgalema Motlanthe for deputy president, but if he contests the (presidency), the conference resolved to support comrade Cyril Ramaphosa (for deputy president),” chairman Kebby Maphatsoe said.

The African National Congress holds its national elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Some party structures have said they want Motlanthe to take over the position of leader from Zuma. Motlanthe has not said whether he will accept the nomination.

Mthembu said the ANC had to guard against creating intolerance in the party.

Lobbying had to happen within acceptable limits of motivating the capacity of a candidate nominated.

“Our members must refrain from introducing foreign practices that can polarise and divide the organisation,” he said.