Gauteng African National Congress chairman Paul Mashatile on Sunday again called for an end to factionalism in the party, and urged that those behaving in an unbecoming manner and bringing the ANC into disrepute be dealt with harshly, including expulsion.
In his closing address to the ANC’s Gauteng provincial general council (PGC) meeting in Pretoria, he said the ANC “is in a crisis mainly of our own making”.
“One of our biggest challenges in this period is the problem of factionalism. This phenomena that asserted itself in our ranks since the Polokwane conference in 2007 has fractured our organisation to the extent that we may lose power in the next general elections if we don’t mend our ways. It is therefore absolutely critical that we destroy factionalism within our ranks. We have to work hard to advance the course of unity within our ranks,” he said.
“Let us approach the 54th national [elective] conference with a determination to eradicate slates when electing the leadership of our organisation. The days of winner takes all are over. We must emerge from this conference more united than ever before.
“We have already stated that we must elect a leadership collective that must win the confidence of all South Africans. A leadership that must have the courage to address the wrong things happening within our movement. We want a leadership collective that will be constituted by cadres from different generations and take into account the national question and gender.
“We must ensure that the national conference of the ANC becomes a dignified event that must be admired by people all over the world. There must be no room for disruptions, intimidation, or violent conduct within our meetings. Those who behave in an unbecoming manner that brings the ANC into disrepute must be dealt with harshly. We must not hesitate to take disciplinary [action] against rogue elements within our ranks, including expulsion,” Mashatile said.
“Whatever we do at any given moment must benefit the majority of our people. The ANC must stop to be inward looking, and prioritise issues affecting our people. We cannot afford to be pre-occupied with squabbles among ourselves and lose focus of critical issues affecting the people of South Africa,” he said.