EC ANC warns of risk posed by RET faction within party

Provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said that it was a threat similar to Cope and the EFF, which he said were formed in the belly of the ANC and warned that one day it could face off with the governing party at the polls.

FILE: Carl Niehaus, spokesperson of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, is a prominnent member of Radical Economic Transformation (RET) committee. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey-Makhaza/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape said that its national executive committee (NEC) had to confront the threat posed by a group within the party calling itself the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) committee, warning that it was no different from Congress of the People (Cope) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which were born out of ANC factional battles.

Provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi told journalists that the ANC had to be alive to the risk posed by the faction, which had often come to the defence of ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, embattled Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and former President Jacob Zuma.

One of the RET forces’ prominent members was Carl Niehaus, who worked in Magashule’s office.

Ngcukayitobi’s address followed a provincial executive committee meeting where it decided to suspend members with matters before the courts.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape said that it refused to see the Radical Economic Transformation forces as just another faction within the party.

Ngcukayitobi said that it was a threat similar to Cope and the EFF, which he said were formed in the belly of the ANC and warned that one day it could face off with the governing party at the polls.

"It is nothing of the sort of either a tendency or a faction, but it has grown into an organisation."

In calling for the party to address the issue, he questioned how some members of the RET forces worked at its headquarters.

"And that is what the ANC is lying with, with the risk of keeping some individuals working in the office of the SG and [who are] pronouncing themselves outside the ANC."

Ngcukayitobi said that the province would raise this matter when the ANC’s NEC met this weekend.

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