Zuma looks to unite ANC
Durban – South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has called for unity in the governing party and condemned leadership squabbles in the ANC.
He was speaking to thousands of party delegates in Durban, amid reports of growing unease at his leadership.
He called for a return to “revolutionary discipline” in the ANC.
His address sought to allay the fears of both unions and businesses by promising to create jobs and tackle inflation.
The ANC’s relationship with its union allies has been hit by a recent nationwide strike by some one million civil servants.
But Zuma denied that the ANC’s partnership with unions and the left was under threat, saying predictions of the imminent break-up were “a waste of time and ink”.
He did, however, warn them that the ANC is the “leader of the alliance”.
The head of the Cosatu trade union federation, Zwelenzima Vavi, who recently said the alliance with the ANC was “dysfunctional”, welcomed Zuma’s speech as “well measured” and “pro-poor”, South Africa’s Times newspaper reports.
Zuma also took a stiff line on ANC members who publicly condemned the party, saying they would face discipline.
“We have no choice but to reintroduce revolutionary discipline – junior structures must respect senior structures of the ANC,” he said.
Jacob Zuma’s leadership style has been described as people-driven and pragmatic but others see the same qualities as populist and indecisive.
Due to his many allies, this man often finds himself having to steer through tricky waters – having to balance the sometimes conflicting interests of the poor, unions, communists and business. (BBC)