Stop the infighting and unite, Jessie Duarte tells ANC members
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has warned party members to stop being arrogant and selfish and unite for the continued survival of the 108-year-old organisation.
Duarte was addressing ANC branch leaders and members at Galeshewe in Kimberley ahead of the party’s birthday celebration on Saturday.
Duarte, who was spitting fire, said the interests of individuals — from branch level to national — must never be placed above those of the ANC.
To this end, she said, lessons could be drawn from the outcome of the party’s 2017 national conference at Nasrec which she lauded for producing a “mixture” of leaders from different factions.
Duarte was taken aback by a feud between an ANC branch leader and an ANC councillor in Ward 4 in Galeshewe that got so dirty it led to the burning of the councillor’s house.
What was more shocking, she said, was that the councillor and the ANC branch chair were at each other’s throats to please their egos at the expense of the party.
Duarte was accompanied by NEC member Mondli Gungubele.
“This arrogance, we can no longer have this in the ANC. I am ashamed. I am ashamed,” a fuming Duarte said.
“No-one is going to break the ANC any further. Nasrec taught us a good thing.
“Comrade Mondli [Gungubele] and I went to Nasrec on opposite sides but ANC branches said: ‘Hey you guys up there, we want a united national leadership and not an NDZ [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma] or CR [Cyril Ramaphosa], but an ANC leadership’.”
Duarte went on to disband the ANC branch in Ward 4 and ordered the establishment of a task team to address the issue by no later than Tuesday next week.
She warned that infighting and individualism were killing the ANC, whereas the party’s survival was in everyone’s interests.
“If the ANC dies in our hands, it is unforgivable. Gauteng messed around and now [the party] only needs to lose one seat to the opposition to lose power,” Duarte said.
“And why did it get there? It is because of the nonsense of people fighting over nothing for individual power.
“And power is nothing. It is an empty promise with no value. What is valuable is the ANC, not power.
“For the ANC to remain in power, it needs people who do not want individual power so much that they are willing to destroy the organisation to get that power.”