South African President Jacob Zuma has said that the ruling African National Congress party has ended its week-long discussions more united now despite reports of heated debates at the Nasrec Expo Ground in Johannesburg.According to reports, the meeting’s heated debates surrounded issues on economic transformation‚ land expropriation‚ the controversial move to nationalise the South African Reserve Bank and the use of the term “white monopoly capital” to refer to the country’s white-dominated economy.
Zuma endorsed a call for the loser in the December 2017 ANC presidential race to be elected as deputy president of the organisation. This is a strategic move on Zuma’s part, since his former wife is running for the top post against current party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who wants to succeed his boss to State House.
Zuma told delegates on Wednesday: “This conference strengthened the culture of robust internal debate in the ANC‚ anchored on the principle that we can disagree without being disagreeable. After all‚ we are not enemies; we are comrades.”
Zuma said the ANC emerged from conference wiser and better in its understanding of its strengths and weaknesses, noting that “we have a keen understanding of the challenges and how to overcome them.”
“We came here first and foremost to review the policies of the ANC and to assess whether we are still on course with the execution of the goals of the national democratic revolution‚” Zuma said.
Proposals made at the conference would now be taken to branches for discussion ahead of the party’s elective conference in December.