On what might have been his last January 8th Statement, President Jacob Zuma proved once more that he doesn’t acknowledge the group of African National Congress (ANC) Stalwarts.
The ANC on Sunday celebrated its 105th birthday in Orlando Stadium. Zuma delivered his speech, and in his speech he ‘missed’ the part where the ANC thanks the veterans for participating in assisting the party.
However in a statement sent to media houses, Zuma acknowledges the Stalwarts and also calls on them to be more active.
“The ANC Veterans League must be a source of wisdom and guidance for the Movement. Veterans are the repository of years of organisational wisdom and knowledge and the ANC can only benefit when veterans and stalwarts take a more active role in shaping the next generation of leaders,” reads the statement.
“We call on our veterans and stalwarts to become more active in the structures of the Movement and, in particular, to become more active in political education at all levels of our organisation,” said the statement.
However contradictory to the statement, in November 2016 after the Veterans emerged with calls to have Zuma removed out of office, Zuma lashed out at the stalwarts and said the group appeared not to know the process of raising concerns in the ANC.
“Some of these people I have not seen since 1994 and all of a sudden they appear out of nowhere calling press conferences to express their concerns about our party. They are very vocal indeed. Most of them do not even belong to party structures and are encouraging actions which they have always been against in the past, namely speaking about the organisation outside its structures. They are using the name of veterans in justifying what they are doing,” said Zuma.
Stalwarts set to ‘review’ Zuma’s January 8 statement
ANC stalwarts are expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss the party’s 8 January statement, and possibly receive a progress report on the preparation for a consultative conference.
Last year the group of 101 stalwarts emerged and demanded that the ANC must remove Zuma out of office and promote unity among the organisation.
The Stalwarts then signed a document titled “For the Sake of Our Future” in the document, the group listed their concerns and resolutions. One of the group’s resolutions was for the ANC to hold an early consultative conference to elect new leadership.
That led to a meeting with top ANC leaders‚ with a promise to have a follow-up meeting about the stalwarts’ concerns.
And today the veterans are set to state their opinions on Zuma’s statement and receive the latest updates in regard with the concerns they have once raised.