Some members within the rank and file of the ruling African National Congress are apparently not comfortable with the culture of open display of wealth by the party’s cadre.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told party leaders and members on Sunday that the organisation was “nothing without the people of SA”.
Magashule was speaking at the party’s 108th birthday celebrations at Port Shepstone on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
He told national executive members, provincial leaders and people who filled the Ugu Sport and Leisure Centre that “the day the ANC becomes detached from the masses of our people, and no longer is rooted among our people, it will literally disintegrate and die”.
He encouraged ANC members to engage with South Africans to understand their condition and challenges as that was how “a revolutionary, caring and especially listening organisation should be doing”.
Magashule was however frank and stern about what he called arrogance and insensitive displays of material opulence and crass materialism which he said had crept into the governing party.
“It is entirely unacceptable to display conspicuous wealth and opulence when we engage with the majority of our people who, despite political freedom, remain poor, many of whom are unemployed, and who daily battle just to have something to eat,” he said.
Magashule also slammed party members who used the ANC celebrations to display wealth, abuse and exploit young and poor women.
“Everything else that detracts from the essentially pro-poor and revolutionary character of the ANC, should in no uncertain terms be exposed as enemies of the ANC ethic and order. It is here we say again: Enough is enough! These tendencies cannot be allowed to continue to fester and undermine our true revolutionary character.”
He added that these were demons the ANC had to confront and resolved to protect the people-centred character of the party.
We can celebrate and be happy without alcohol, my leader.This thing of having to glamorize liquor at our events is not assisting government’s campaigns against alcohol and drug abuse.Alcohol is ravaging our society and as leaders we must avoid worshiping this drug #alcoholfreesa https://t.co/Lc8LVtJzSB
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) January 26, 2020
Magashule also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the first president of the ANC, John Langalibalele Dube, who was born in the province.