29/06/2017 08:09 SAST | Updated 29/06/2017 08:09 SAST

ANC Vets To Discuss Boycotting Consultative Conference

The ANC stalwarts say their pleas for a separate conference fell on deaf ears.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (R) jokes with his party's newly appointed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in Bloemfontein December 18, 2012. South Africa's ruling ANC re-elected Zuma as its leader on Tuesday, setting him up for seven more years as head of state of Africa's biggest economy. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

ANC veterans are due to meet on Thursday to discuss plans to boycott the ANC's consultative conference, News24 reported. This follows weeks of pleas by the stalwarts that a special, standalone conference be held, separate to the party's policy conference, to discuss the ANC's problems.

The stalwarts will reportedly gather at Constitutional Hill on Thursday.

Last month, the vets reportedly wrote to Zuma and the ANC National Executive Committee pleading for it to show leadership over state capture allegations.

In their letter, they reportedly said Zuma had undertaken to hold a separate consultative conference which would include civil society, to address the ANC's problems.

But News24 reported that ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said two weeks ago, that the party would hold its extended policy conference, including a two day consultative conference, with or without the veterans.

But it is clear the veterans, should they attend the conference, will face tough questions from Zuma's backers in the ANC, too.

The ANC's chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal told the province's policy conference last week:

"I believe it will be a good platform. They must come. Whether we call it a forum‚ a consultative conference‚ or not. If it's a consultative conference it will not have any constitutional standing above the NEC and the national conference," he said, according to The Sowetan.

"Since (Polokwane) we have not been with them even during difficult times of election campaigns. And we must agree what determines the power in South Africa now is the performance of each organisation in the elections.

"If they are saying the ANC is declining what is it that they have done to save the ANC? Where have they been for these past 10 years as they are emerging now?" asked Zikalala.

He reportedly He accused the veterans of orchestrating "what we are seeing in the public".

"They are part of all these shenanigans. Some of them have been part of the efforts that supported Cope and some of them have been part of embracing the people who left the ANC including the EFF. They are coming now to tell us there are challenges‚ yes there are challenges.

"We respect them as veterans. But let's discuss all the issues not be selective. Let's start from where we last interacted. Let's start from Polokwane. Where have they been from Polokwane until now and we must address even their conduct in the ANC‚"