POLITICS

Zuma: Let Local Government Elections Be A Lesson When Electing New Leaders

The ANC’s quest to find new leaders started with Jacob Zuma advising the party to elect people willing to serve the public.

08/01/2017 23:10 SAST | Updated 09/01/2017 13:33 SAST
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ANC president Jacob Zuma during the ANC's 105 birthday celebration at Orlando Stadium at the weekend.

African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma has challenged party members to ensure that his replacement will be someone who will put the needs of the country first.

In his last January 8 statement at Orlando Stadium, Zuma said the party needed to return to 'being a people's parliament'.

"The ANC will elect a new national leadership towards the end of the year. ANC leaders must demonstrate a desire and commitment to serve the people. They must have a proven track record and be able to organise and inspire the masses to be their own liberators. Leaders must have demonstrated the capacity to unite and guide our movement," Zuma said.

He said leading the party was not an easy thing and the task must be placed in the hands of capable individuals. The organisation is heading to an elective conference in December and the message that was put forward on Sunday was that of unity instead of divisions.

The organisation is trying to plug gaps that have characterised the leadership battle. In the past, the organisation has emerged from elective conferences divided and bruised, something that it wants to avoid this time around.

Measures that have been put in place include encouraging members to avoid slate politics as well as popularity votes. Zuma called on branches to elect the most suitable candidates instead of allowing their decisions to be based on cult followings.

"Leading the ANC is a tremendous responsibility, which must not be taken lightly. Too often, comrades fight for leadership positions as they see leadership as the route to material and personal gain. Leaders who are in positions for nefarious reasons contribute to the decline in our movement's standing and they have no place in the ANC," said Zuma.President Jacob Zuma

"Leading the ANC is a tremendous responsibility, which must not be taken lightly. Too often, comrades fight for leadership positions as they see leadership as the route to material and personal gain. Leaders who are in positions for nefarious reasons contribute to the decline in our movement's standing and they have no place in the ANC," said Zuma.

He said the 2016 local government elections showed that South Africans were becoming more adept at utilising democratic instruments such as the right to vote. He added that the election results proved that where people don't agree with the actions or direction of their movement, they will use democratic means to express their dissatisfaction.

Zuma said the task of ANC members and all ANC public representatives was to serve the people selflessly and diligently.

"The ANC has heard the message that the people delivered in August 2016. We accept that we made mistakes and shall correct these mistakes," he said.

Zuma added that the party demands that cadres are disciplined and selfless in serving the people. He said members of the party must remain true to the values and traditions of the ANC. Failure to do so would result in the organisation taking action against them.