25/03/2018 07:28 SAST | Updated 25/03/2018 07:29 SAST

Party Challenges Are Top On The Agenda For ANC Veteran League

ANC Veterans League has vowed to play a leading role in rallying South Africans behind the ANC ahead of the 2019 elections

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Deputy president of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa reacts after he was elected president of the ANC during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The ANC Veterans League has vowed to play a leading role in rallying South Africans behind the ANC ahead of the 2019 elections but says it's also concerned about the state of party structures in some provinces.

In a statement, released after its national executive committee (NEC) sitting this week, the veteran's league's president, Snuki Zikalala, said the mood in the country was "buoyant" and that the ANC's watershed December conference resulted in the re-alignment of government, and the resignation of Jacob Zuma as president.

Zikalala explained that this raised the hopes of South Africans in the 106-year-old liberation movement's ability to get back on track and fulfil its national democratic revolution mission.

Uniting society

"The Veteran's League has to play a leading role in uniting the movement and society. We have to reclaim our rightful role as the guardian of our values and traditions. We must be visible and earn respect within the ANC structures and society," said Zikalala.

Although happy with some of the developments in the party, the veteran's league raised concern over the Gauteng government's handling of the tragic Life Esidimeni saga, which resulted in the deaths of more than 144 mentally ill patients.

Zikalala said the ANC should have been the first to call for an inquiry and to demand accountability from its own deployees in provincial government.

The veteran's league also welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's cabinet reshuffle, but said it was worried about some of the ministers who had been retained.

'Recycling ministers'

"We are not exultant that some ministers have been 'recycled' and that there has been inadequate evaluation of their performances in their previous portfolios. For us to win the upcoming elections next year, we have to prevail on our movement to deploy skilled, competent, passionate and knowledgeable comrades in government," said Zikalala.

The veteran's league NEC also discussed the state of the party in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and corruption allegations facing several officials in North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo's cabinet.

Zikalala said the mother body should include veterans when it set up provincial tasks teams to lead both KZN and the Free State to their respective congresses.

Referring to the Eastern Cape's factional battles which led to its so called "festival of chairs" provincial congress where violence broke out, the veteran's league said the appointment of a commission led by NEC member Sbu Ndebele needed to be supported.

Law must takes its course

"In the North West Province, there are serious allegations of corruption against the current administration. The law enforcement agencies must be encouraged to take appropriate action," said Zikalala of the numerous serious allegations levelled against Mahumapelo and his executive.

The veterans, who held a consultative conference in 2017 in order to assess and to fix the trajectory of the political party without the support of the ANC under Zuma's helm, have also resolved that it should be held again.

The organisation said this would assist in addressing some of the challenges facing the deeply divided political party and to ensure more veterans join their league in order to assist in strengthening it.

"As the veterans league we are of the view that the special national consultative conference be convened," said Zikalala.