Bloemfontein - The so-called “Forces of Change” which had resisted ANC president Jacob Zuma’s re-election were voted out of the party’s national executive committee on Thursday.
Anti-Zuma camp hit by purge
None of those who contested the top six leadership posts – without success earlier this week – made it on to the ANC’s 80-member NEC.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, who lost his bid for deputy president of the party, was number 10 on the NEC list at the last ANC elective conference in Polokwane in 2007.
This time, he did not make it.
Neither did former treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, who also contested the deputy presidency, nor former deputy secretary-general Thandi Modise. Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile and Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who was number 15 on the NEC in 2007, were also excluded.
The five had automatically been put on the nomination list after they lost in the top six officials election at the Mangaung conference.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who failed in his challenge for the party presidency, did not make himself available for election on the NEC.
ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga failed to make it, but his wife Angie was elected.
History seemed to be repeating itself. In 2007, when former president Thabo Mbeki lost the party presidency to Zuma, many of his allies did not make it on to the NEC list either.
The most popular NEC member of 2002’s Stellenbosch elective conference, Trevor Manuel, did not make himself available for election this year.
Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, topped the NEC list in 2007.
This year, she was second-last on the list and the announcement of her name failed to draw any cheers.
Those who received the loudest cheers by delegates this year included sacked police commissioner Bheki Cele and former Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi, who was fired for misusing a state-issued credit card.
The new NEC included several cabinet ministers and AU Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, as well as ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.
Cabinet ministers on the list are Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom, Finance Minister Pravin Gordon, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, Intelligence Minister Siyabonga Cwele and National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu.
Former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, and former arts and culture minister Pallo Jordan were also elected.
Closing the conference on Thursday night, Zuma announced that Motlanthe will lead the party’s political education programme. “We thank the former deputy president for availing himself for this critical task,” he said to cheers from delegates.
The ANC must root out factionalism, Zuma said. “We will be rooting out all the tendencies… factionalism, sowing disunity and the use of money to buy members or positions, or even worse, the attack on members of the ANC.”
He warned the party would deal with members who disrupted ANC meetings. He said the conference had robust and constructive debates on policies. The priority now was to draw up a clear plan on how to implement them. The plan was expected to be ready early next year.
“The national conference has refused to be drawn into the word nationalisation… which means nationalisation as discussed over the past few months is off the table,” ANC economic transformation committee head, Malusi Gigaba, said on Thursday.
But the government would decide on “strategic ownership” in the economy “when deemed necessary. There might come a moment when a particular sector might need to be nationalised for particular purposes as happened in the UK and US during the global economic crisis… We’ve not limited ourselves.
“National conference was eager that we provide final clarity on this. There shouldn’t be… any expectation the ANC will move from here and start deciding who and where we’re going to nationalise”, he said.