JOHANNESBURG, March 12 – The African National Congress (ANC) has re-connected with party stalwarts and veterans as they have an important role to play in the reviving the governing party, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
Ramaphosa held a meeting with members of the veterans league and said the stalwarts’ participation in the ANC would ”lift the party”.
”We have views about what is to be done, what the role of the stalwarts should be in this new dawn that we are in. They are the custodians and guardians of our movement,” Ramaphosa told reporters after the meeting held in Sandton.
”They’ve been in the trenches and contributed greatly to the growth of our movement, so we invited them to participate more actively in the various campaigns that the ANC will be involved in, including the election campaign … we are all one thing.”
Previously, veterans did not see eye to eye with party leaders under former president Jacob Zuma’s leadership. The elders accused Zuma of sowing divisions and urged him to resign.
The veterans called for an all-inclusive consultative conference since 2016 in the wake of the infighting within the party and expressed concerns that the ANC’s deepening crisis, attributed to corruption and factionalism, required urgent attention.
Back then their appeal to Luthuli House for party renewal fell on deaf ears. Instead the ANC top brass invited the veterans to participate in a two-day consultative conference alongside the policy conference.
However, the veterans opted not to take part in the consultative conference and demanded a separate meeting that would include branch members.
On Monday the veterans league president Snuki Zikalala said the elders are ready to work with the ANC again.
”We agreed that we will build the integrity of the ANC and restore confidence people had in the ANC. As we stand here, we are ANC people and will campaign to ensure that the party delivers on its objectives,” said Zikalala.