[BLOG] The Gathering: The ANC is long dead - Malema

Eyewitness News & Daily Maverick host The Gathering to discuss the ANC's upcoming elective conference.

WATCH the final session of The Gathering here

The Gathering

Taking place three weeks before the ANC policy conference, all attention will be focused on what the outcome of this historic vote will be. This is really an event that will shape the future of South Africa. The Gathering 2017 will lift the veil off some of the issues facing the ANC in the run-up to the vote. We have invited major players within the ANC, and all presidential hopefuls to speak during the one-day event. Attendees of this hugely consequential event can expect to see the leading contenders for the top job as well as ANC veterans, opposition party leaders, opinion-makers and top analysts who can help us make sense of it all.

Posted by Eyewitness News on Thursday, 23 November 2017

And that's it ladies and gentleman. If you joined the event late, you can find all the highlights on the blog page. Just click on "Highlights" in the feed.

Malema says if people can afford "expensive shoes" they should wear them as long as they're not a product of corruption.

"Julius Malema" is trending second after #NandosDMGathering on Twitter. He's clearly got people listening.

"I pay my taxes without fail ... They used tax against me. Make sure your taxes are paid."

Malema says Sars officials only continued to pursue him because boss Tom Moyane was "embarassed" and wanted his team to go after the EFF leader.

Malema is now detailing why he thinks Sars went after him several years ago. He thinks Sars failed in trying to help him comply as a taxpayer.

Following a question from the floor, Malema explains the EFF's processes around the suspension of the party's members in the Mogale City council.

Malema encourages youth to go to school and get an education. He says he realised importance of education after leaving ANC. ANC didn't encourage education, instead encouraged him to get "nice things".

Malema says he doesn't understand why politicians gets so many luxuries, while the people suffer.

Malema says Grace Mugabe is not to blame for Mugabe's long stay in power and eventual fall.

"I said to Mugabe he must leave... I was insulted by Zanu-PF. I said to them one day you will agree with me. I saw it long ago that President Mugabe will be humiliated if he doesn't leave," Malema says.

Question to Malema about why he changed his mind about Robert Mugabe. "I love Bob... but it doesn't mean I don't criticise you... A good dancer knows when to leave the dance floor," he replies.

"I don't care about Guptas in the same way I don't care about white monopoly capital," Malema says.

Malema says EFF called off plans to march to Absa because "Gupta stooges" hijacked the concept. "I won't march behind Atul," he says.

EWN Dr Jack & Curtis Cartoon depicting former Zimbabwean finance minister Tendai Biti, who spoke at The gathering this morning. 

"EFF doesn't want to be a rebound boyfriend (to the ANC) that's why we need to go to the branches," Malema says about the EFF's 2017 theme, The Year of the Branch'.

"The ANC is eating itself. Every time I speak, I unite them," says Malema.

Malema says it'll take time for people to trust that they have staying power.

Malema says he doesn't understand why everyone is so excited about ANC Elective Conference, nothing will change. Earlier on he said the conference would just be like  a tombstone unveiling

"ANC is long dead and buried," says Malema

Meanwhile outside, the most sought-after book in SA is selling like hotcakes . Each one is signed by author Jacques Pauw.

"Why are voters so loyal to ANC?... No amount of marching, looting, destroying property will bring regime change," says Malema. "Power rests with voters."

Even with all evidence of state capture, voters still vote for ANC, Malema says. "Voters don't exercise their power."

Malema says SA doesn't need military invention like what has happened with Zimbabwe.

"Why are we not creating a state-owned bank, which will not be foreign-owned?" Malema asks.

Malema's voice is getting slightly louder and his tone more passionate as he speaks about how untransformed the economy is.

"I became fashionable before Bell Pottinger," Malema says.

Malema says he doesn't understand why Eskom has retained Apartheid-era contracts. 

Malema talks about some issues with DA coalition. Takes a jibe at Jo'burg Mayor Herman Mashaba, says foreigners in Jo'burg are not our problem, in reference to Mashaba's utterances about foreigners. "Even if they all go, we will remain with the same problems", he explains.

Malema says ANC and DA both remain devils but EFF thought it better to go with 

"SA economy is not growing. Many young people entering working age bracket will not be employed...Areas where black people live have become spaces of poverty, recycling diseases... DA and ANC are dismally failing to improve lives of our people," Malema says.

Malema says SA is becoming a failed state.

Gordhan's address has wrapped. Last but not least, is EFF leader Julius Malema.

Pravin is on fire! A member of the crowd tries to fetch the former finance minister. But he was having none of it.

Another audience member asks Gordhan what leadership is doing to groom leaders on good leadership and serving the people of South Africa.

"SAA wouldn't need bailout if there was a will to just change a couple of its members of the board a year ago - that's it," Gordhan says.

Gordhan says Brian Molefe actually had no experience in turning things around at SOEs.

"Escalation of [contract] costs is correct, but you should get Eskom and ministers concerned ministers to answer questions about that," Gordhan says.

Audience member asks Gordhan about Medupi and Kusile contracts. "Why did you keep guarantees for something that was clearly hollowing Eskom out. Where is activism you talk about now?"

Gordhan says he wants Cyril Ramaphosa to win ANC presidential race.

Gordhan talks about ANC December EC, says branches that are unhappy with results will have their disputes heard.  

"The challenge for all of us... is to change our mindsets and become active in finding solutions and ensure that we ourselves undergo a paradigm change,"  Gordhan

Gordhan says inequality is a problem plaguing the whole world, not just South Africa.

"The current leadership has failed because its preoccupation is how to fill certain people's bank accounts," says Gordhan.

"Unless we create the right kind of climate, this economy won't grow beyond 1%," Gordhan says.

Gordhan says we're seeing the sabotage of key institutions that are here to serve us for generations to come.

Gordhan talks about "Hollywood performances" we're seeing at Eskom Inquiry. "The public is far more intelligent than they think we are," he says.

"There are many people in cabinet with explanations for [Gupta] emails, travels to Dubai, associations to families and syndicates who are prime extractors of wealth from you," Gordhan says.

Gordhan says we have a crisis in SA, we've analysed it but what do we need to do about it.

EWN's Stephen Grootes introduces Gordhan. Loud applause as he gets on the stage.

And we're back. Pravin Gordhan joins us. Just a day ago, he was grilling Brian Molefe in Parliament at the #EskomInquiry. Let's hear what he has in store for #NandosDMGathering. 

We're taking a 15 min tea break and will be back with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

Time's up for the last panel. EFF members protest and yell as one of their own still had a question. 

Today's cartoon by Chip depicts DA leader Mmusi Maimane during his address at The Gathering this morning.

Audience member asks Pauw how his book address grassroots "corruption" issues such as inequality between black and white.

Pauw and Manyi going back and forth on existence of SARS rogue unit. Manyi says it's unfair to discuss SARS when they're not here.

Manyi says he has not read Pauw's book.

"Where're the investigations into the looters of Prasa etc... they've ground to a halt. Zuma must take direct responsibility for it," Pauw says.

"If ever you want to talk about WMC, look into British American Tobacco," Pauw says. He adds that investigations into such cases are dead because SARS boss Tom Moyane killed them [the probes].

Mkokeli asks Pauw what was most shocking to him in findings he came across while writing his book. Pauw says it's how deep the rot goes. "I completely underestimated rot...our spy boss is deeply implicated in fraud and corruption."

Dr Abedian says he doesn't want white or black monopoly capital, or any monopoly for that matter, misusing taxpayer's money. Manyi interjects and says there's no such thing as black monopoly capital.

Eskom has been hollowed out and sent to Dubai and Honk Kong under guise of fighting white monopoly capital, says Dr Abedian. Audience applauds loudly.

Manyi is asked if under Zuma, the state is in disarray. He replies saying it is superficial, even stupid, to imply it is a Zuma problem.

Pauw laments destruction of law enforcement agencies, SARS etc. as detailed in his book. Rebuilding these institutions is our biggest challenge, he says.

Jacques Pauw has arrived and joins panel just as Manyi states that Jacob Zuma is driving radical economic transformation

Policies don't favour black people in SA, they favour white monopoly capital Manyi says.

Mkokeli asks Manyi what CODESA has got to do with economy, Zuma, unemployment etc..."It has set the pace and foundation that ensures that white monopoly capital continues to thrive," Manyi repi.

"The reason I am here is to help you not talk to yourselves...Narrative here is people talking to themselves and inviting people who think like them...I am here to tell you the truth," says Manyi.

Manyi says first panel didn't do justice to question about how we got here. "CODESA got us here," he says. "CODESA was about everything but transformation of economy."

Manyi starts by saying it's intriguing that we have such an event without ANC being invited. You can't invite presidential hopefuls and say we invited ANC, we have not.

Another threat we face is devastation of our social values, Dr Abedian says.

Abedian says biggest threat we face today is our economic structure.

Next panel discussion is up. Jacques Pauw, author of The President's Keepers, is slightly delayed, but will be part of it soon. In the meantime, media boss Mzwanele Manyi and Dr Iraj Abedian join Sam Mkokeli on stage to discuss the biggest threats facing SA.

Pityana says it starts with fixing government that will insure corporate SA will play its part. And with that, the panel discussion wraps up.

Audience member asks Pityana what more leaders in the room can do to bring corporate SA to the party to help transform the country.

Audience member says public has been failed by government. "Don't wait for 2019, let's move and get going," she adds.

"The biggest enemy we face is complacent and laid back SA that's prepared to take things lying down...We may not rest until we remove a corrupt government from power," says Pityana.

Katopodis asks how people can hold politicians accountable.

Holomisa says he doesn't think Zuma has ability cancel ANC EC.

Audience member asks if ANC EC can be cancelled if it's going the wrong way for Zuma?

Holomisa says we need to campaign for a new electoral system. We need to elect our own president.

Gasa replies saying we tend to look at what's done on a larger, political level. When we humanise ourselves and those with whom we disagree, we can then have empathy and compassion.

Question from audience: "We have to deal with our broken society. Is there something we need to do about our compassion problem?"

Pityana sets the record straight on what a politician's job is:

"They [politicians] are not our bosses, they are our servants," says Pityana.

Gasa talks about service delivery protests, says she doesn't like the commonly-used term because these are in fact political and social protests.

It is question time, roving mics on floor now and we hear from the people...

"We have saved South Africa," Holomisa says of opposition parties.

Holomisa says we need highly trained civil service to re-instill faith in politicians.

Nomboniso Gasa has called for President Zuma to go to prison and serve time.

Pityana says we need to enable the upliftment of the poor so we don't have situations like Michael Komape's death.

Pityana says the damage caused by state capture is tremendous. Jobs cut in sectors. Investor confidence in various sectors dropped. South Africa has been made a difficult place to invest it. It's going to take years to recover.

Katopodis highlights Life Esidimeni and Michael Komape stories as examples of harrowing issues we're dealing with lately, asks panel what needs to happen. Pityana says those responsible must be arrested.

"To undo this [state capture], will take a long time...People must go to jail," says Gasa. "[Zuma] must wear the orange [Correctional Services] overall." Audience applauds this statement.

Katy says let's talk state capture, asks if there is a way to undo it.

Bantu Holomsa says we should be concerned with how to involve all sectors of society in looking at the economy.

Holomisa says we need to identify certain areas in society to fight the battle. "We need to pull ourselves up and fix our country."

Sipho Pityana describes the rot within the ANC:

If Zuma continues as ANC President, it'll be worse for the country but continue to benefit opposition parties, says Holomisa.

"Image of Zuma has become the image of ANC," - Pityana.

"People of South Africa owe it to the people who fought for democracy...to punish the ANC," - Pityana.

"ANC has its back against the wall...only because the people have challenged and questioned it," - Pityana

"The December event is like putting sugar on a rotten cake," says Pityana.

The next panel is Bantu Holomisa, Sipho Pityana, Nomboniso Gasa.

Katy Katopodis, EWN editor-in-chief moderating at the moment (14:44

Sizwe Mpofu-Welsh opens in song and beats.

And we are back!

We have taken a lunch break, we will be back at 2.

A person on the floor asks Feinstein why he  still lives in London if he thinks SA has changed. He says "I would rather live in London than Cape Town. To engage around the global arms trade I have to live in London."

Feinstein says citizens think they've done their jobs after voting every four years, forgetting that they still have to make sure politicians are here to serve, instead of living in the lap of luxury.

Why do we sell more weapons when the world is so peaceful now? Feinstein asks.

Feinstein says there's a tiny elite of corporate and world leaders for whom the world is working perfectly. These same leaders control obscene amounts of money.

Feinstein says the nuclear deal will make the arms deal look like chump change. 

Feinstein talks about corruption in South Africa

Talking now (12:50) is Andrew Feinstein, former ANC MP and author of 'The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade' now a film. 

The DA leader continues to say he will work with those who work with him.

"I don't want to pick an ANC member because that would contradict what I said that the ANC is dead," Maimane says.

Manyathela asks Maimane "who do you hope wins?"

Manyathela is delivering those hard questions!

"I never really see white people marching at DA marches?" Manyathela asks. Maimane says the question is poor.

Maimane says he doesn't believe Helen Zille is racist. 

"My project is not to replace white people with black people," Maimne says.

Maimane is done.

Maimane is vouching for young people.

Maimane simply says the ANC is dead!

Maimane says the situation of Zimbabwe and the ANC is a teller of liberation movements.

Manyathela asks Maimane what accent he will use today! "The one that is for the people in Sandton, hao," Maimane says.

The next speaker is the DA's Mmusi Maimane.

Our next moderator is EWN's Clement Manyathela. Welcome!

"You always think the camera puts on 10 pounds on a person but ANC members have put that on themselves. They are fat." Bezhuidenhout says.

Evita Bezuidenhout opens with a parody phone call to Gwede Mantashe 

We are back!

We break for tea, 20 minutes. We will be back, don't move.

WATCH: Here's the video stream of today's first session

"We were not celebrating the dawn of a new era, were celebrating the fact the President Mugabe is gone! You don't know what it's like to live under a dictator." Biti says.

Biti commends SA's Chapter Nine institutions for independence.

Biti says SA doesn't know what they have. He advises South Africans not to go north of Limpopo

Radio 702's Stephen Grootes asks Biti: "How do you keep going when all of these things happen around you?" 

Biti calls for a new sustainable Zimbabwe. 

Biti closed his address by saying he is optimistic about the future. 

5. We need Constitutional reform

6. We must harmonise the laws

6. Electoral reform

7. Full stop to land question

8. Build strong institutions

9. Deal with the entire state

10. Zim must get back to the international community 

Biti expresses his love for ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe! Bromance!

1. Keeping peace and stability
2. Restoring the social contract
3. Economic reform
4. Structural reform

Biti is adamant that the price of Zimbabwe imploding has far reaching affects. He says sub-Saharan Africa needs to get their finances and affairs in order, South Africa as well.

Biti: The Zimbabwean problem is right in your face, South Africa. The Zimbabwean matter is not a domestic issue, because if Zimbabwe implodes it affects us all.

Biti: Once the tanks are on the street, it's only a matter of time before they are back on the street again. Once television broadcasts are interrupted, it's only a matter of time before its interrupted again.

Biti calls for the world not to underestimate what happened in Zim on 18 November 2017.

How will Zim get out of the current financial situation? 

Biti has the crowd in stitches with his analogy of African countries failing at shorter distances in athletics because they can't pass the baton to one another.

Biti: What happened was that Mugabe was in bed with that army, but as soon as he started cavorting with another woman, even if that woman is his wife, it became a problem.

Biti outlining the mess that Zimbabwe is in is hard-hitting! He shows passion, love and heartbreak for his country.

Biti: The final nail was inspired by Grace Mugabe. She's totally disagreeable

Biti: We have a social crisis. Newborn children are dying. Mothers are dying

How do have someone who is 94-years? Someone who is literally in diapers saying he is president?

Tendai Biti, former Zimbabwean finance minister

Shade much? 

Biti: We are producing 500,000 graduates a year, but we're only able to absorb about 5% of them

Biti manages to bring some humour into a very serious talk. "How do you have a 93-year-old leader, someone who is in diapers, leading the country

Our shops are full of goods but no one is buying.

Tendai Biti, former Zimbabwean finance minister

Biti: Right now our shops are full of goods, but no one is buying

Biti: "The last time our economy grew positively was in 2012."

Biti: We have a crisis of under-accumulation. The last time our economy grew was in 2012.

Biti: When I became finance minister in 2009 I inherited an economy with a growth rate of -14%

Biti: 95% of our people are unemployed. 82% of our people live in extreme poverty, surviving on R35 or less per day

Biti says what happened in Zimbabwe was a coup:

Biti: In a way, what happened last week was that someone who no longer served the interests of the military was recalled.

Biti: For all intents and purposes Zimbabwe has remained as a securocratic state since the 1980s.

Biti: I don't know what it is about November that these major events take place in November. You'll remember that we had Black Friday in Zimbabwe on 14 November 1997, when the currency lost 70% of its value in one day.

Biti: We are going through a very serious time in our history [referring to the change of power in Zimbabwe]

Zimbabwe's former Finance minister Tendai Biti takes to the stage. He'll be interviewed by EWN senior political reporter Stephen Grootes

That's it for the first session.

Msimang says it's good to work from within the system and push for change. Reassures the crowd that there are good people in the ANC's national executive committee

Msimang: Don't let people define you by race. Don't retreat.

Msimang says Frederik van zyl Slabbert's report on the election system needs greater consideration.

Mavuso Msimang draws laughter from the crowd saying he'd be resting and spending time with his grandchildren if it wasn't for Jacob Zuma.

Khoza: We need to fix our education system. We are spending a lot of money, but it's not working.

Khoza: I don't think the ANC elective conference is going to deliver the results South Africa needs.

Bingwa asks Khoza "[Do we need] A new political party?" She answers "A merger."

Makhosi Khoza: We have failed to acknowledge that this age we are in is disruptive.

Zapiro takes on the socialism question: Says if ANC is indeed exhibiting socialist tendencies he's yet to see it. Would like to see the ANC become more socialist, more caring.

Fifth question: What is being done to change the electoral system?

Third question: Why not choose a direct representation system over a party list system when the Constitution was drawn up?

Hard hitting questions coming through!

Second question/comment: The ANC seems to be moving towards socialist policies and the man in question says evidence shows it doesn't work. Suggests capitalism works better.

Questions from the floor. A woman who says business has failed the people, asks what parties are doing to help.

It's question time! Chesa!

Msimang outlines his fear post December conference: “My fear is past December, it will be status quo continued. I think we know who that somebody is.”

Mavuso Msimang's critical factors:

1) People don't trust politicians. There must now be a second revolution. Civil society must be more active and not rely on politicians.

2) Civil society must step up

Msimang: I don't know if Cyril wins, if facing the stress of the economy that he won''t go to bed with the same people he defeats.

Khoza calls for SA to unite, create jobs and fight corruption.

Makhosi Khoza: There is no dignity in unemployment. You can't give an unemployed person diginity.

Khoza is going in hard on corruption, she is adamant that corruption must be punished. "Corruption is not a victimless crime."

We need to stretch our minds back to 1995 when the Springboks won the world cup and 1996 when we won Afcon. We need to unite.

Dr Makhosi Khoza, former ANC MP.

I don't understand how people like Lindiwe Sisulu and Zweli Mkhize promise people to be here and then not come here. It's unbelievably cowardly.

Jonathan Shapiro Zapiro, cartoonist.

Mavuso Msimang says the ANC has decayed because they didn't take time to understand power.

Khoza names MPs (Pravin Gordhan, Derek Hanekom, Mondli Gungubele who became unpopular because of speaking out against the party.

Makhosi Khoza says the blame can't all go to President Jacob Zuma, "all of them (ANC members), are to blame for lacking courage".

Radio 702's Bongani Bingwa is the host.

First up: Mavuso Msimang, Makhosi Khoza and Jonathan Zapiro.

And we have begun

People upset that all three presidential hopefuls cancelled at the last minute

As we gather...

People cannot contain their excitement, rightfully so!

Do not worry though, we still have a cracking line-up of thought leaders, journalists and politicians, who will keep the audience at the Sandton Convention Centre gripped and entertained.

Here's the running order for today.

Good morning! Welcome to EWN's live blog on The Gathering. This latest event will focus on the ANC's elective conference.