President Jacob Zuma proposed at the party’s elective conferences that the losing candidate for the ANC presidency should become the deputy president.
“In the spirit of combating slate politics and factionalism, a significant number of comrades have proposed that we find a mature and sound way of politically managing possible contestation of leadership positions especially in the run up to the 54th National Conference (in December),” Zuma said in his closing remarks at the party’s 5th national policy conference held in Nasrec, in Johannesburg yesterday.
“The experiences of the last two national conferences have taught us that the factionally driven ‘winner takes all’ attitude is not in the best interest of the ANC.
“It is worth repeating what I said during the opening remarks to this conference that our movement has lost many talented and capable comrades in whom it invested significantly due to slate politics, a terrible manifestation of perennial factionalism.”
To this end, Zuma said the ANC has to find and introduce campaign mechanisms which would not have members “lobbying as if there is no tomorrow”.
“One of these is to build consensus in the structures of the ANC that candidates contesting for positions should feature in the leadership collective even if they lose.
“As a practical measure to put an end to the entrenched practice of slate politics and factionalism, branches should consider a proposal to have a second deputy president (additional to the deputy elected at the elective conference) to include the candidate who obtained the second highest votes for the position of president.”
He said the “consensus” within the ANC that the governing party can no longer afford to reject those who were preferred by a significant number of members to lead.
Earlier yesterday, delegates disagreed strongly over a proposal by the Gauteng members to decriminalise the activities of sex workers.
“You will find an issue that has arisen in the plenary as a contentious issue.
“The province of Gauteng has proposed to us that we decriminalise sex workers and it put it across as a proposal and a recommendation until we found that the plenary was not too happy with that proposal,” chairperson of the social transformation committee Lindiwe Sisulu told a media briefing.
Sisulu, who is also the Minister of Human Settlements, said Gauteng is of the view that South Africa is “unduly harsh on people trying to make a living” and it should be men’s involvement in the sex escapades which must be penalised.
“In Gauteng’s perspective, this (sex work) is an executive pleasure so their proposal is to turn it around so that we criminalise the men,” said Sisulu.
The delegates also recommended that South Africa categorises hate crimes as a priority. – ANA