ANC veterans in uniform outside its Johannesburg headquarters. Picture: MIKE HUTCHINGS
ANC veterans in uniform outside its Johannesburg headquarters. Picture: MIKE HUTCHINGS

ANC veterans have appealed to the delegates attending the party’s national conference to cast their vote for leaders who stand for "integrity, anti-corruption, anti-factionalism and principled unity".

In an open letter to delegates issued on behalf of the 101 veterans and stalwarts who held a consultative conference last month, Wally Serote called on national executive committee (NEC) members to "provide leadership" and encourage delegates to withhold their votes from those implicated in wrongdoing.

Serote urged delegates to "change the trajectory of the ANC" and that the time to "return it to its values and principles is NOW".

While the open letter did not tell delegates who to vote for, the veterans, in their declaration, read out at the consultative conference, called on President Jacob Zuma to step aside.

Zuma has endorsed ANC MP Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him when the party elects new leadership at its 54th national conference which kicks off on Saturday at Nasrec in Johannesburg.

Former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe attended the consultative conference along with current and former ministers and members of the ANC’s NEC.

The road to Nasrec has been a bumpy one with at least four court cases still underway, in the final sprint toward the conference. The race remains a close one between Dlamini-Zuma and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

"We call on all those who have been compromised in any way to do the right thing and disclose this by approaching the law-enforcement agencies as well as our Integrity Commission so that we rid ourselves of the cancer of corruption that is destroying our movement," Serote said.

"Please utilise this opportunity and responsibility carefully and re-affirm your solemn declaration as set out in the Constitution and pledge that you will act with honesty and integrity at all times and that you will, indeed, expose all forms of corruption and dishonesty."

The veterans and stalwarts will not be attending the conference as a block but in their individual capacities as members of various party structures.

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