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Zuma calls for cleansing ruling party at policy conference

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In spite of calls for him to step down from office due to scandals, South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma has called on the party to cleanse itself from all the “negative tendencies” that are creeping into the ruling party.Zuma, who is also the State President, was speaking on Friday at the start of the party’s 5th national policy conference in Johannesburg.
The six-day policy conference is designed to encourage mass participation in shaping the direction the party and the government will take in the years to come.
“To restore and maintain its character‚ the ANC needs to cleanse itself from the negative tendencies that have crept in over the years.
“These tendencies — which have been outlined before — include patronage‚ corruption‚ social distance‚ factionalism‚ abuse of power and membership system anomalies such as the reported manipulation of the membership data‚ gate keeping and bulk buying of membership‚” Zuma said.
The President said the ANC needed to resolve its difficulties and continue with its mission to transform South Africa and build a better life for all citizens.
Turning to factionalism‚ Zuma said this was “a cancer that must be rooted out” of the party because it had tarnished the ANC’s image.
He added: “It (factionalism) has caused splits from the ANC which has negatively affected us both quantitatively and qualitatively.
“Slate politics‚ another manifestation of factionalism‚ has cost us many good and capable comrades in whom our movement has invested significantly.”
During the gathering 4‚000 ANC members‚ alliance partners and invited guests will seek to find policy solutions at the forum on issues such as radical economic transformation and land expropriation without compensation.
The ANC has become increasingly divided over Zuma’s leadership style in recent months due to a string of corruption scandals‚ diminishing public support and economic instability caused partly by a cabinet reshuffle in March which saw respected former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas‚ being axed from government.
The controversial move led the country to being downgraded by international ratings agencies to the detriment of the economy, which is now in recession.


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