If the ANC does not table and resolve issues dividing the party in the next three months‚ the national conference in December will be the ANC’s political grave.
This is a dire warning from former ANC national executive committee member and former Mpumalanga premier Mathews Phosa.
“We must take the right decision now‚ in the next three months‚ and then we can define that future together,” Phosa said.
He was speaking at the opening of a photographic exhibition at the University of Johannesburg’s FADA Gallery yesterday.
The exhibition‚ curated by Siona O’Connell‚ showcases a collection of photographs of the ANC in exile in Tanzania and Zambia in 1989 and 1990‚ taken by UK journalist Laurie Sparham.
The photographs were shelved soon after Sparham finished the assignment.
The ANC leaders were released from prison and the photographs no longer held the interest they would have, had the leaders still been behind bars.
Phosa said the larger-than-life photograph of people in ANC shirts dancing in Tanzania in 1989‚ and a young‚ smiling Jacob Zuma‚ reminded him of the values the party held back then.
“All of a sudden we begin to realise that in 1994 we were all concerned with building a new South Africa‚ and put all these experiences [of exile] in the cupboard and shelved it away,” he said.
“When we look at ourselves in the mirror today‚ we don’t look like we did in 1912‚ or in 1994.
“The values that we believed in – we are no longer representing them.” Phosa slammed the NEC members for protecting President Zuma and confirmed that when ANC presidential nominations opened in July‚ he would throw his hat into the ring.
“For me, he [Zuma] is surviving at the expense of the national interest,” he said.
“When they decide to take the moral highway‚ he [Zuma] won’t survive.”