President Jacob Zuma says the 'scourge' of factionalism and infighting has become the biggest threat to the African National Congress (ANC) making it easy for external forces to influence the party.
Delivering his final speech as the ANC at the party's national conference on Saturday, Zuma warned that party members avoid the courts when addressing internal matters.
He says the relationship between the three arms of state needs some scrutiny.
Conference must thus reflect on the kind of parliamentary culture the ANC espouses and kind of strategies and tactics used, so that we do not permit counter-revolutionary tendencies in parliament.— President Jacob Zuma
The role of the judiciary also requires reflection especially in relation to the need to protect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.— President Jacob Zuma
Judgements that give the impression that we can disregard the constitution for political expediency or to solve what we regard as current problems sets a dangerous precedence which will make it difficult to govern in future.— President Jacob Zuma
Continuing on the role of the judiciary, Zuma said the courts are eroding the authority of the ANC and members should only resolve to court action if the party has failed to address internal matters.
We also frown upon the subjection of our internal organisational matters to court processes, ANC members should use internal disputes resolution processes. Judges should not be asked to dictate ANC organisational processes and the direction of the movement.— President Jacob Zuma
We did say whoever takes the ANC to court must understand that he has declared himself out of the ANC but we have never implemented, perhaps that is a problem which the leadership must take the blame.— President Jacob Zuma
He says petty squabbles need to take a backseat.
Our people are frustrated when we spend more time fighting among ourselves than focusing on the day to day challenges they experience.— President Jacob Zuma
It is because of factionalism that we have seen the emergence of splinter groups over the past 10 years which negatively affected our movement both quantitatively and qualitatively. Slate politics, another manifestation of factionalism has also cost us many good and capable comrades in whom our movement has invested significantly.— President Jacob Zuma
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Ill-discipline has also continued to afflict the ANC which has taken new forms in the recent past, bordering on members publicly challenging the authority of the organisation, there have also been worse incidents of ill discipline where members openly side and work with opposition parties and other formations that are hostile to the ANC . We need to reaffirm the authority of the organisation over its individual members.— President Jacob Zuma
Zuma was also critical of media.
We should be mindful of the fact that the media is an active participant with vested interests rather than an impartial and fair observer on ANC organisational matters. Due to internal divisions and in pursuit of personal interests some ANC members actively use the media to fight personal matters against the ANC.— President Jacob Zuma
Click on the link below to hear the President's full speech....