African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday (08/23/2016) said a proposal by the ANC Youth League that the party hold an early elective conference was “not a bad idea”‚ and was being discussed.
However‚ he said the ANC could not go to an early conference just because of the results of the local government election‚ where the ANC’s support declined 8%‚ resulting in its loss of control of three metros and a number of municipalities.
“We can’t go to a conference because we have done badly … and we go fight it out there‚ smash each other in conference‚ blood in the floor and we come out of that conference more divided‚” Mantashe told journalists in Johannesburg.
He said a “factionalism approach” to the conference would not resolve anything.
A similar argument was made when the ANC sought to dissuade its ally‚ union federation Cosatu‚ from holding a special conference in 2014. The objective of an early conference had to be about the ANC uniting.
Last week‚ the youth league said it believed an early conference should be held and that there should be no contestation during the election of new ANC leadership.
“If we do that‚ the idea for an early conference is not a bad idea‚” Mantashe said.
He said history had a habit of repeating itself and if the ANC did not unite‚ it would lose power. There were a number of examples of other liberation movements that had lost power because of infighting.
“When you are under siege and your back is against the wall‚ the worst thing you can do is finger-pointing and to continue hurting each other by attacking each other.”
The ANC national executive committee had resolved that the party would take collective responsibility for the electoral decline.
Where the party has lost power‚ the ANC would be an effective opposition‚ Mantashe said.
– TMG Digital/BDlive