Johannesburg - The ANC lekgotla looks set to discuss the opinion piece of its national executive committee (NEC) member and Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who made disparaging remarks about the country’s black judges and its Constitution.
The lekgotla is set to start on Saturday until Sunday, following the conclusion of the party’s first NEC meeting, which ended on Friday.
According to the report tabled to the NEC, members were told that the recent debate on the Constitution and the fire at Parliament had overshadowed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s January 8 ANC Statement.
The sources said the ANC national working committee told the NEC that “responses to the January 8 Statement have been engaging, although the event also had to compete for airtime with the arson at Parliament, and the debate on the Constitution.”
According to the report to the NEC, they were told that the lekgotla would hold discussions about recent matters aimed at undermining the Constitution, this weekend ahead of the Cabinet lekgotla on Thursday.
The report stated that the “lekgotla has been structured to focus on evaluating implementation of previous makgotla decisions and, ensuring implementation of the priorities identified in the January 8 Statement:
* Accelerating economic recovery and reconstruction and ensuring that social services are provided to all citizens, and building a social compact to decisively address unemployment and poverty.
* Defending democratic gains against attempts to undermine the constitutional order and destabilise our democracy.
* Building a capable developmental state with an effective and ethical public service that drives the implementation of South Africa’s transformative agenda.
* Working for a better Africa, and a better world.
“The implementation of these priorities is inextricably linked to the task of accelerating fundamental renewal and rebuilding of the ANC, so that it is a more effective and trusted agent of change,” the report to the NEC stated.
On Friday, however, the ANC was tight-lipped on the recent public spat between Ramaphosa and Sisulu over conflicting reports that the minister had retracted her remarks about black judges. ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe was not available for comment.
The continuing spat, however, has left one of the ANC alliance partners, Cosatu fuming.
Cosatu reacted with disdain to the public spat involving the office of Ramaphosa and Sisulu, labelling it as a “nice debate to have between them”, while the majority of South Africans live in squalor and are unemployed.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla sounded outraged about the public spat. Pamla bemoaned the fact that the spat was happening while the majority of people were suffering, and did not have a reliable electricity-supply.
“It is a side issue (the spat). It is a non-issue. There are big problems in South Africa. Our people do not have reliable electricity-supply. The majority of the adult population is unemployed,” Pamla said.
He said that Ramaphosa and Sisulu could have discussed these matters at the ANC NEC meeting, which ended on Friday. “They both serve in the Cabinet. They could have discussed these matters at the policy conference or at the national general council. They are also sitting in sub-committees of Parliament,” he said.
“It is likely to distract all of us,” he warned but added that Cosatu would “not entertain the matter at all”.