- Ace Magashule told ANC KZN provincial conference delegates that former president Jacob Zuma was one of the greatest ANC leaders of all-time
- Magashule, the current secretary-general of the ANC, was delivering the opening address at the conference in Durban
- He said the ANC of today is still the same ANC as yesterday and listed John Dube, Pixley Ka Seme, Josiah Gumede, Albert Luthuli and Jacob Zuma as great former leaders
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Ace Magashule, the current African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, told delegates at the party’s long-overdue KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference that former president Jacob Zuma was one of the great ANC leaders of all-time.
Magashule delivered the opening speech at the conference in Durban. The long-awaited conference is taking place at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) sports centre. Magashule is representing the ruling party’s national leadership at the conference.
Magashule had to replace President Cyril Ramaphosa as the opening speaker the event at the 11th hour after Ramaphosa has to deal with a matter of international importance. Ramaphosa is scheduled to deliver the closing address.
Magashule told delegates that the ANC of today is still the same ANC as yesterday he said the party’s adoption of the land expropriation without compensation policy was proof of this.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Magashule compared Zuma’s revolutionary leadership of the ANC to that of party legends such as John Dube, Pixley Ka Seme, Josiah Gumede and Albert Luthuli.
Magashule said Zuma was responsible for some of the most revolutionary leadership decisions in the ANC’s history. IOL.co.za reported that Magashule said Zuma’s courage to enact radical economic transformation showed that he was a great leader who cared about the plight of ordinary South Africans.
He added that Zuma had also been bold enough to bring free education to the poor and the working-classes of South Africa, which would help to lift thousands of families out of poverty.
Magashule told delegates that there was a strong possibility that Zuma would make an appearance at the conference.
Magashule waxed lyrical about Zuma and said history would remember the former president as a true revolutionary who was brave enough to take on the dominant economic forces in order to enact greater socio-economic transformation.
Magashule said the ANC would continue to turn to Zuma for advice and would rely on his wisdom on how to best serve the people of the country in the future.
This is the ANC’s second attempt to stage the provincial conference after the original 2015 conference was declared invalid. Sihle Zikalala is expected to once again emerge as provincial chairman after the conference.
The ANC’s national leadership will hope the conference is completed in relative calm and will lead to stability in KwaZulu-Natal which has at times threatened to split the ruling party.
The ANC in the province has been racked by speculation of splinter groups forming and factions supporting Zuma plotting to overthrow Ramaphosa. Zuma has denied having links to any of these factions and said he would remain committed to the party until his dying day.
The ruling party has supported the former president and has even used him in to drum-up support in ward elections in the province.
Magashule called on ANC members to refrain from taking their internal party issues to the courts and asked them to exhaust internal processes before going outside of the party with their problems.
The ANC has faced a near epidemic level of court challenges nationwide in recent years as disgruntled members take the party to court over their frustration about the results of conferences, allegations of voter rigging and various other complaints.
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