Zuma covers bases in Mangaung address

ANC President Jacob Zuma has delivered his political report to 4500 delegates at the ANC Conference.

ANC President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe on 16 December 2012, the first day of the party's conference in Mangaung on. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

MANGAUNG - A total of 4500 delegates representing thousands of ANC branches located across the country are listening to ANC President Jacob Zuma deliver his political report on Sunday.

Zuma delivered his opening address at the ANC Elective Conference at the University of the Free State in Mangaung.

The president hailed praise to former president Nelson Mandela who is recuperating after a procedure to remove gall stones.

"He is receiving good care from a competent and caring medical team. We wish him all the best."


Zuma said the road to Mangaung had been a difficult one.

He condemned violence between branches and also the shooting of ANC North West secretary, Obuti Chika, on Friday morning.

"We need to ensure branches are genuine and have genuine members. Our audit procedures should be improved. Also common are disrespectful public spats and hurling insults at other comrades and members of public."


Zuma spoke of the fight against corruption and confirmed the unified effort by all to build a corruption free society.

The area of vulnerability is, according to Zuma, the tender system and he suggested that the conference will address the abuse of the system.

Zuma wants the tender system dealt with.

Speaking about the Marikana shooting, Zuma said, "Politically, Marikana exposed challenges we face at work and in communities.

We extend condolences to all who died at Marikana. At the time the ANC met with CEOs of mining companies and discussion continues."

There is no love with Zuma on mines. He has generally been quite critical of mine owners, but also slamming workers' violence.

Zuma also spoke of saving the rhino population from ruthless poachers, noting that the South African National Defence Force has returned to patrol the borders of the Kruger National Park.

He urged communities to assist in the campaign against poaching and commended the swift action of law enforcement agencies, as well as the strict sentences imposed on those found guilty.


Zuma believes the future is in the country's hands and that we should be aware of the lessons other countries can teach us, especially the aftermath of the political changes that recently took place in North Africa.

The president then listed the country's successes noting the hosting of the one of the biggest sporting events, the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

South Africa is also one of the 138 countries that voted in the UN General Assembly in favour of Palestinian statehood as well as the election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the new chair of the African Union Commission.


The conference, which was supposed to have commenced at 8:30, was delayed by over four hours.

Zuma received a warm welcome when he walked to his seat on stage compared to the one received by former president Thabo Mbeki during the 2007 Polokwane conference.

The president knows he is in a relevantly comfortable position, with a majority of ANC provinces backing him.

But the ANC leader knows there is still an election that needs to be fought and won.

Zuma has several political problems to deal with, including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's acceptance of a nomination for him to take over the top job.


The two opposing groups emerged clearly at the conference.

One group called for change in the ANC, while the other sang Zuma's praises.

With ANC flags in hand, pro-Zuma supporters symbolically held two fingers in the air while singing, signaling their desire for the president to run for a second term.

One delegate said, "I come from the Western Cape and I am here for the National Executive Committee vote. I am looking forward to today."

For Jacob Zuma's full speech, click here.