ANC stalwarts to approach integrity committee if Zuma snubs them

The ANC stalwarts say since they first requested a meeting with Zuma in September, there has been no reply.

FILE: Former Director-General in the presidency Frank Chikane. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – A group of African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts say if President Jacob Zuma doesn’t commit to a meeting with them, they will be forced to ask the party’s integrity committee to investigate him.

The group, comprising of veterans such as Frene Ginwala and Frank Chikane, has written to the president requesting a meeting.

They want to discuss the recent state capture report among other things.

The ANC stalwarts say that since they first requested a meeting with Zuma in September, there has been no reply.

Chikane says he doesn’t know for sure if the integrity committee has dealt with the issue of the president but says if he refuses to meet them, they will consider approaching the committee.

“If the president says 'no I can’t meet you', then we’ll look at all other avenues.”

The stalwarts believe the president has brought shame to the organisation and the country.

Meanwhile, Chikane says former President Thabo Mbeki’s letter to Zuma may be helpful in trying to get Zuma to understand the seriousness of the veterans' and South Africans' dissatisfaction with the current leadership of the ANC.

He says he has been in contact with Mbeki and had conversations about their concerns with the ANC.

He says he has only just heard of the recent letter written by Mbeki to Zuma urging him to take time to listen to the veterans, who he says have played a role of wisdom in the party in the past.

“I mean anything will be of help because I’ll treat him as a veteran. He’s a veteran and if he expresses his views and he’s a former president. By the way, he has a right to sit in that executive committee.”

Mbeki says it would appear that what the veterans are asking for is something simple and that the ANC should take the necessary measures as the governing party to live up to its solemn obligation, which is to serve the people of South Africa.

MBEKI PENS HIS CONCERNS

Former president Thabo Mbeki has written to President Zuma expressing concerns about the manner in which the ANC has responded to growing dissatisfaction with him, particularly by the veterans.

Some ANC stalwarts say they’re deeply saddened about the current state of the party and have requested a meeting with the president to discuss the direction in which the country is headed.

Mbeki wrote to Zuma on Tuesday, advising him not to make light of the concerns of the veterans, which he says is a sentiment shared by many more.

In the letter addressed to President Zuma, Mbeki explains that he was out of the country when the group of ANC veterans issued their media statement about their interaction with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, but it was Mantashe's response which had him concerned.

He says Mantashe’s response focused on administrative and structural internal processes of the movement and appears to show a lack of awareness for the urgency the signatories feel.

Mbeki says it would appear what the veterans are asking for is something simple and that the ANC should take the necessary measures as the governing party to live up to its solemn obligation: to serve the people of South Africa.

The veterans say they have attempted to meet Zuma but he has not availed himself to listen to their issues.

Mbeki’s spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga confirmed that the letter was sent to Luthuli House for Zuma but does not know whether the president has received it yet.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)