ANC’s step-aside policy ‘must not only be reviewed, but must be scrapped’ – KZN leadership

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ANC's step-aside policy 'must not only be reviewed, but must be scrapped' - KZN leadership
ANC's step-aside policy 'must not only be reviewed, but must be scrapped' - KZN leadership

Africa-Press – South-Africa. As the ANC heads into its policy conference starting on Thursday, its national leadership has a tough task ahead if it hopes to retain one of its instruments for forging renewal – its step-aside policy.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal – the province with the biggest ANC membership – has become the first provincial leadership group to call for the scrapping of the party’s renewal enforcing policy, the step-aside rule.

The call was made by newly elected provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo, when he gave an update on what resolutions the ANC in the province had taken during closed discussions. The ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal conference was held in Durban over the weekend.

Mtolo said the provincial ANC had officially adopted the position that the step-aside policy and its revised guidelines should be scrapped entirely.

“The conference, therefore, resolved that its delegates at the national policy conference must forward a proposal that the step-aside policy must not only be reviewed, but must be scrapped,” said Mtolo.

The step-aside policy bars criminally charged ANC members from being nominated and standing for election at any level in the party.

The revision of the policy prevented the winning slate from fulfilling its wishes of having criminally charged eThekwini ANC chairperson Zandile Gumede stand for election for the position of provincial treasurer.

It was thought that the powerful ANC eThekwini region had turned its back on the former chairperson Sihle Zikalala, and former secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, because it believed that they were not willing to challenge the national ANC on the step-aside policy.

Clean sweep for ANC faction sympathetic to Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal

Mtolo said the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) had seemingly encroached on the will of ANC branches through this policy. Mtolo said the policy prevented them from electing whoever they wished. He said this situation would stop in KwaZulu-Natal, as the province prepared itself to fight tooth and nail to overturn the step-aside policy.

The ANC in Limpopo is also expected to make a call for the policy to be reviewed.

Mtolo also said that delegates at the conference had resolved to support former president Jacob Zuma.

Mtolo added:

He said as a former president, Zuma should not be “isolated” and that it was not supposed to be the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal’s duty to ensure that Zuma’s legacy was preserved.

Newly elected provincial chairperson Sboniso Duma echoed similar antagonistic views as he delivered his closing remarks at the elective conference.

He said the organisation’s renewal project had been weaponised and used to weed out dissenting voices from the ANC.

The outspoken former youth league leader also took a dig at Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

“Zondo is no longer a judge, but a political analyst, or employed to push certain narratives,” said Duma.

He also criticised the non-payment of the salaries of ANC staff members, saying such an act should be regarded as an atrocity.

He said this would lead to demotivated staff members, which could have further consequences, such as delayed conferences, ahead of its national elective conference later this year.

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