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Future of ANC is under threat: Zuma
16 December 2017, 8:03 PM

President Jacob Zuma says the future of the governing African National Congress (ANC) is under threat. He  delivered his last political address as party leader after his 10-year stint at the helm of the governing party on Saturday, at the 54th ANC National Elective Conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg.

Zuma spoke of the need for unity in the ANC, which he says is threatened by factionalism.

“It is because of factionalism that we have seen the emergence of splinter groups over the past 10 years, which negatively affected our movement, both quantitatively and qualitatively.”

He has outlined issues that continue to affect the organisation negatively, saying factionalism is one of the key issues preventing the movement from growing.

“Scourges of factionalism, gatekeeping, ill-discipline, membership buying and infighting continue to afflict our movement. The leadership had to spend a lot of time visiting provinces to attend to these problems instead of focusing on building the ANC and leading the country to prosperity. Despite the challenges the ANC still represents the hopes, dreams and aspirations of millions of our people.”

Zuma says he holds no grudges against members who openly voiced different opinions to his. He has urged members to accept the outcome of the vote that will determine the new leader of the ruling party.

“I thank you all sincerely from the bottom of my heart. In the process of work of the ANC, I’m sure there have been times where we could not agree. There could have been times I said things that you did not like and there could be times that comrades said things to me and you must be feeling I am holding anger. Comrades, though I was told to step down, I want to say to you all that I bear no grudge. You are my comrades and expressed your views. I have no ill feelings because it is politics.”

The outgoing president of the ANC has warned against reckless actions by party leaders who are given the responsibility to make decisions affecting the economy.

“We have to act decisively as doing nothing almost guarantees that there will be little progress in the resolution of the triple challenge of poverty inequality and unemployment. On the other hand, reckless action will plunge the country into deep economic and social stresses. We must tread carefully, but act because of the serious economic challenges facing our country currently.”

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Conference gets off several hours later

The conference got off to a slow start, as delegates waited for almost seven hours before the opening. This despite ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe’s assurance, that the conference would resume officially at 2pm.

ANC Chairperson Baleka Mbete apologised to party members for the delay.

“We are starting rather late for which we apologise. There were issues that we had to attend to in order that we should run an orderly conference. We urge the leaders of all delegations to please assist in order for us to stick to the content of the prayers that were here today this this shall be a peaceful, orderly, disciplined conference worthy of the name of our leader, OR Tambo.”

Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC Member of Parliament, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, are the front runners to succeed Zuma as party president.

Zuma has urged party members to accept the outcome of the vote that will determine the new leader of the ruling party.

“The ANC policy says no matter how strong you felt about the candidate, once the branches of the ANC have made a choice you have to respect that and agree to that point.”

Shembe new leader yet to be announced
16 December 2017, 7:25 PM

Shembe congregants will have to wait another week to find out who will be their new leader.

Nazareth Baptist Church leader Vela Shembe passed away earlier in December after a short illness.

According to the church’s legal representatives, the successor will be announced after certain internal issues are resolved.

Congregants from the Thembezinhle faction have been without a leader for a month. On Saturday, many who had turned up to hear the announcement were left disappointed.

“No successor was announced today (Saturday) because as the legal team, together with the advocate, we had to take into account the number of issues; the interest of the family, the church, the congregants, and the interest of all the court cases. So, we took a decision that we will need at least a bit more time to prepare the congregants for the announcements,” says legal representative, Trevor Nkosi.

Shembe had been embroiled in a bitter court battle with his nephew Mduduzi Shembe, leader of the eBuhleni faction. He died a year after the Durban High Court ruled that he was the rightful leader of the church, which is said to have five million followers.

Australia dominate Ashes against England
16 December 2017, 6:37 PM

Australia are in the driving seat after Day 3 of the third Ashes Test against England at the WACA in Perth.

Aussie Captain Steve Smith scored a maiden Ashes double century to leave the hosts coasting on 549 for four 146 runs ahead of England’s first innings of 403 all out.

Day 3 of the third Test at the WACA simply belonged to Australia.

The Aussies resumed their first innings on 203 for the loss of three wickets trailing by 200 runs.

England claimed the scalp of Shaun Marsh for 28, but that was the only success the tourists could manage as a prolific unbeaten 301 stand between Mitchell Marsh and his skipper Smith turned the tide for hosts.

Smith, who resumed on his overnight total of 92, batted throughout the day and became only the fifth Aussie captain to score an Ashes double century surpassing a 1 000 Test runs in a calendar year for the fourth straight time.

He was complimented at the other end by Perth native Marsh who silenced his detractors with his maiden Test ton.

Both batsmen ended the day on career best figures; Smith unbeaten on 229; Marsh on 181 and Australia seemed to be cruising to their third straight victory of the series going to stumps on 549 for the loss of four wickets with a lead of 146 runs.

Rain has been predicted over the next two days in the Western Australian city and that may be the only hope for the English to salvage a draw.

ANC voting process 101
16 December 2017, 6:13 PM

SABC Researcher Maswele Ralabona explains the African National Congress’ process of voting for its top leadership.

Zuma calls for responsible leadership
16 December 2017, 6:07 PM

African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma has warned against reckless actions by party leaders who are given the responsibility to make decisions affecting the economy.

Zuma is delivering his last political address as party leader after his 10-year stint at the helm of the governing party.

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC Member of Parliament Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the front runners to succeed Zuma as party president.

Zuma opened the 54th ANC National Elective Conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

“We have to act decisively as doing nothing almost guarantees that there will be little progress in the resolution of the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. On the other hand, reckless action will plunge the country into deep economic and social stresses. We must tread carefully, but act because of the serious economic challenges facing our country currently.”

Zuma says the party is working towards radical socio-economic transformation.

“The 54th national conference is convened under the theme ‘Remembering Tambo towards unity, renewal and radical socioeconomic transformation’. We are building on the instructive theme of the 53rd conference in Mangaung which was ‘unity in action towards radical socio-economic transformation’. Going to that conference, we had become alive to the fact that the country needed to get onto a higher development trajectory in order to move more speedily to the national democratic society envisaged by the freedom charter.”

Zuma has also urged party members to accept the outcome of the vote that will determine the new leader of the ruling party.

“I want to believe comrades that all of us here know what is the right thing to do; and I believe we all love our movement and that’s why we are given a choice to choose who do we think should lead the ANC. The ANC policy says no matter how strong you felt about the candidate, once the branches of the ANC have made a choice you have to respect that and agree to that point.”

Zuma denounces use courts to settle party’s dispute

President  Zuma has denounced the use of the courts to settle the party’s leadership disputes. Disgruntled members have used the courts to seek recourse after disputes emanating from election of regional and provincial leaders.

On Friday the courts had to annull the leadership of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Free State and Bojanala region in the North West, over claims that there was vote rigging and disregard of the rules governing the staging of elective conferences.

In a strongly worded statement, Zuma said the party leadership should enforce the decision to expel those who use the courts to settle internal party disputes, saying the tendency seeks to erode the authority of the ANC.

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