The ANC is experiencing a ‘shattering of Mangaung slates’

Tokyo Sexwale.
Picture: Veli Nhlapo

Former Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale says the doings of the ANC’s elective conference at Mangaung in 2012 are coming undone at the seams.

“What we are experiencing is the shattering of the slates of Mangaung‚” he said at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Wednesday evening.

“From Pravin (Gordhan) and everyone‚ it is the shattering of that slate. All the people who were happy at our loss in Mangaung‚ all the people who were happy at our removal from Cabinet‚ are now being shattered‚” he said.

“Now where is Blade? Where is Sdumo‚” asked Sexwale?

Sexwale served in President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet from 2009 and was removed following a reshuffle.

In Mangaung‚ he was to go head to head against Zuma and Baleka Mbete for the top ANC position.

He said he had been put up as a “third way” because “these two comrades had caused such hurt to the organisation”‚ elaborating that the party was torn between the two candidates.

Sexwale said he decided to pull out five minutes before the race and threw his weight behind Baleka Mbete. Zuma came out victorious.

After that conference‚ Sexwale‚ Paul Mashatile and Kgalema Motlanthe‚ who were anti-corruption‚ were pushed out of their positions.

But even in his time as Human Settlements Minister‚ Zuma’s Cabinet was riddled with corruption‚ said Sexwale.

He claimed that during that time‚ he had given more speeches on corruption than he did on housing and he was regarded as a disturbance to many people.

“What is the biggest thing that government can give you? Where is the biggest money? Not in books‚ condoms‚ your hospital things. The biggest thing your government can give you is houses. So that is where that thing was concentrated. I had to be removed‚” he said.

He referred reporters to a speech he made at Fort Hare University in September 2012‚ before the Mangaung conference‚ claiming it was still relevant today.

“That speech was the legacy of our forefathers‚” said Sexwale.

In it‚ he said: “Again‚ the troubling Marikana conversation with my father weighed heavily on my shoulders. He had said: ‘No son of mine should become part of a government that has just killed with riffles its own people in the manner we saw on TV. Take a stand and leave the Cabinet.’ But quickly added‚ ‘I do not say leave the ANC.’ He repeated: ‘Leave the Cabinet.’”

In the same speech‚ Sexwale questioned whether the ANC was still in good hands‚ stating that the “good‚ the loyal‚ the best in the ANC do get cast away‚ get isolated‚ humiliated‚ shouted down‚ frustrated‚ their roles become diminished‚ they become belittled‚ are called names‚ are character assassinated‚ marginalised‚ ostracised and finally made to feel unwelcome.”

He said these acts were done by people “who as comrades were originally morally upright‚ dedicated‚ well trusted and committed to the struggle”.

“They have now become political misfits who no longer serve the people but are self-serving‚ politically degenerate‚ morally bankrupt‚ power abusers‚ ill disciplined while disciplining others‚ rely upon fear‚ stifle debates and internal democracy from the branch‚ as base unit of the structure‚ and elsewhere.

“In a word‚ they once fitted the bill of a true cadre of the ANC and are now practically political lumpens in spite of the nice-sounding sophistry of their political language to conceal their true colours.”

In another part of the speech‚ he said “hard-earned tax payers’ monies have become cheaply accessible and are seen as permanent ATMs. When such unscrupulous members are exposed‚ the whistle blowers‚ media‚ the clergy‚ civil society and so on‚ become targets and such unscrupulous elements simply move on to the next ATM with impunity!”

Sexwale is on the board of trustees of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Earlier on Wednesday‚ the board had delivered a statement on the state of the nation. In it‚ they urged Zuma to heed the call of the people and step down from his position.

They added that all tentacles of corruption needed to be cut from government and threw their support behind the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry to expose state capture.

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