Bheki Cele: If ANC unity doesn’t come, kiss my vote goodbye

ANC NEC member Bheki Cele says that the party does not belong to anyone and it is a movement for the people by the people.

FILE: ANC NEC member Bheki Cele. Picture: EWN

PORT SHEPSTONE, KwaZulu-Natal – African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Bheki Cele has warned that if the governing party does not restore unity, it can kiss the 2019 elections goodbye.

Cele was speaking at a Cadres’ Forum in Port Shepstone on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, an event which deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was meant to address.

Ramaphosa could not attend the gathering because he was stuck a national working committee meeting with the KwaZulu-Natal ANC leadership about the stripping of powers in the lower South Coast region nearly a month ago.

The local leaders there believe this move was political because the region has been outspoken on its support for Ramaphosa to take over as ANC president in December.

Cele says that the ANC does not belong to anyone and it is a movement for the people by the people.

He has asked KwaZulu-Natal ANC members to remain united and keep the organisation strong with the outcome of the matter currently being heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

“If this unity doesn’t come, kiss my vote goodbye in 2019.”

Last week, a group of a disgruntled group of ANC members took the current KwaZulu-Natal leadership to court calling for the 2015 provincial elective conference results to be nullified.

The audience could continuously be heard singing songs in support of the deputy president.

Cele also says the NEC made the wrong decision to allow for the controversial gathering to go ahead and has called for top officials to eat humble pie and apologise to the branches for also causing divisions.

“Come back and apologise and take our responsibility of leadership of the ANC.”

He says it is embarrassing that the courts have to arbitrate internal ANC matters and now it's time for the NEC to take charge of the situation.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)