ANC urges leaders to build unity within party

The statement comes after the party’s treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize was heckled by ANCYL members in KwaZulu-Natal while addressing a memorial service for Ahmed Kathrada.

FILE: ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) has called on its leaders to dismantle factions within the organisation which are tearing it apart and urgently work to build unity.

The statement comes after the party’s treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize was heckled by ANC Youth League members in KwaZulu-Natal while addressing a memorial service for late struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada on Sunday.

Mkhize has called the youth league’s behaviour unacceptable and embarrassing and says they need to be educated politically.

He’s also apologised to all in attendance.

ANC spokesperson Khusela Sangoni says: “Memorial services and funerals are not the place where comrades should be expressing faction tendencies but rather use the solemn occasion to really memorise the memory of those who sacrificed so much for our country.”

At the same time, not only was Pravin Gordhan disrupted during his speech, ANC Treasurer Zweli Mkhize was jeered, with some shouting “you divided KZN”.

“To all the comrades who are here, we’ll still the ANC even if we differ in our views.”

This came after KZN ANC chair also tried to discipline his fellow comrades.

“Sit down, sit down all of you. Let us manage issues on our own.”

At the end, the memorial concluded on a divided and sour note, with the speakers being ushered off stage, while the youth league continued in song.

'GORDHAN PROVOKED US'

The KZN ANCYL says while it condemns the chaos at Ahmed Kathrada’s memorial service in Durban, it insists Gordhan provoked them during his address.

Earlier over the weekend, the event organisers obtained an interdict to stop the youth league from protesting, initially wanting them barred from the service.

The Durban High Court ruled that members could attend on condition they did not disrupt proceedings.

Gordhan was interrupted on several occasions, even when speaking on radical economic transformation.

“For comrade Kathrada and his generation, like ours, also want radical economic transformation. But be careful, that radical economic transformation can’t be for a handful of people.”

But KZN ANCYL secretary Thanduxolo Sabela insists that Gordhan provoked members.

“Comrade Pravin accuses members of the ANC of carrying brown envelopes with money and he doesn’t say who.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)