POLITICAL NEWS - African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Dr Zweli Mkhize has called for an end to gatekeeping and factions within the governing party and for it to serve communities rather than personal interests and those of its elected officials.
Mkhize was on Wednesday speaking at the governing party’s January 8th celebration in KwaZulu-Natal at its Moses Mabhida region at the gravesite of the party’s leader Harry Gwala.
Mkhize called on ANC members to correct the wrongs, such as gatekeeping, within the organisation.
He said gatekeeping was alien to the governing party and that those that joined the ANC did so out of their own will and a desire in their hearts “to work for communities” and not to serve their personal interests.
Mkhize reiterated his call for an end to gatekeeping as it could lead to the governing party’s demise.
He further urged the party’s members, wherever they were, to work towards ensuring that the ANC was unified and that internal disputes were resolved.
“Factions should come to an end because we want people to know that this organisation would not have been this strong if factions [existed within it],” Mkhize said, adding that the ANC would not have grown to its current state if factions plagued the party.
As a way of celebrating the party’s 108th anniversary, which is today, January 8, Mkhize said its rank and file should reach out to communities and remind them that the governing party was still in existence and that it would continue with its work of serving them.
Mkhize said since the ANC pulled the levers of power and governs councils and municipalities, the latter structures should bring about progress to the country’s citizenry and that the situation where elected politicians allow their hangers-on to feed on public funds should be avoided.
“It should be known that we are here to work for communities and not for the stomachs of those who have been elected,” Mkhize said.
Honouring and paying respect to the ANC’s “heroes” – such as Harry Gwala – was meant to revive the consciences of the party’s members and serve as a reminder to them about what the governing party stands for and why they had joined it in the first place, Mkhize said.
He added that the party should remain the hope of the people.
The governing party is expected to hold its January 8 statement celebrations in the Northern Cape town of Kimberley – marking the 108th anniversary of the ANC – on Saturday at the Tafel Lager Park Stadium (formerly Absa Stadium).