Ace Magashule. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
Ace Magashule. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has launched a scathing attack on members who continuously take the party to court, and has called for their punishment.

Magashule was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the eighth elective conference of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal‚ which was almost interdicted earlier on Thursday.

"The awful tendency to take the ANC to court by disaffected groups must come to a final end‚ and the self-centred ill discipline that informs such behaviour must be punished and rooted out once and for all‚" he said.

Provincial leaders have warned that failing to elect leadership will hurt the province’s performance at the 2019 general elections.

"The enemy is among you. ANC KwaZulu-Natal contributes about 22% of the ANC national vote. If you don’t unite‚ engage and persuade one another‚ you would have betrayed the revolution‚" Magashule said.

Six disgruntled members from the Moses Mabhida and Lower South Coast regions had attempted, at the 11th hour, to stop the conference from going ahead. The urgent application was dismissed.

Magashule warned party delegates against an "onslaught" against the ANC from both within and outside.

"If nothing is done‚ we face the peril of donating the baton left to us by our forebears into the hands of forces opposed to transformation. Where there is a revolution‚ there is always an anti-revolution‚" he said.

He said the conference should be used as an opportunity to sharpen political perspective, and urged those contesting for leadership positions to stop being power hungry.

He said leadership positions were a privilege‚ not a hereditary power. He said leadership was an opportunity to take the organisation to greater heights.

"The ANC is not a movement of individuals‚ it is a movement of the entire people. In the ANC we do not use the word ‘I’ but we use the word ‘we’ because we are a movement of the people‚ a movement of collective leadership. In the ANC‚ words and expressions such as ‘I’ and ‘ME’ are foreign tendencies. The word ‘I’ in the

ranks of such a revolutionary movement is in fact counter-revolutionary‚" he added.

The position of secretary has emerged as the most closely contested in the province. Mdumiseni Ntuli‚ the former spokesperson of the party’s provincial executive committee‚ will go head to head with Super Zuma‚ the former provincial secretary.

Magashule said the conference should be used to forge unity in the province since a strong and united ANC was a vehicle for change in society.

"We are duty-bound to accept the democratic outcomes. Those who may lose have a duty to accept the outcomes and support those who will be elected. Those who will be elected must embrace all‚ irrespective of their preference going to conference‚" he said.

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