Just a week after African National Congress Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu urged embattled President Jacob Zuma to step down from the presidency, another ANC top member, Ekurhuleni mayor and party regional chairperson, Mzwandile Masina, on Thursday challenged the President to ‘leave the ANC to us intact’.
“Oliver Reginald Tambo left the ANC intact. Mr President, we ask that you leave the ANC to us intact at a particular point in time,” Masina said an event to remember Tambo, who would have turned 99 on Thursday.
Masina was addressing Zuma, who was part of the event in Wattville, on the East Rand. Ministers of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, and Local Government, Des van Rooyen, and former Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele were in attendance.
Tambo, the ANC’s longest-serving president, died in April 1993, a year before South Africa held its first democratic elections.
Masina asked that party members ensure the organisation stayed intact and that its leaders emulate Tambo’s values. Developments in the party at present were starting to worry the ANC’s younger members, he said.
“If you can’t respect your own leadership, then who will you respect?” he asked.
Masina said members should not raise issues in the media, but internally, and show respect to the party’s leaders.
Last week, the ANC’s parliamentary chief whip Mthembu called for the ANC’s national executive committee to step down.
This followed the party’s loss of support in the August 3 local government elections and the controversy surrounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s fraud charge.