Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says members of the ANC cannot become a force within the party because there is only one party.
Speaking on eNCA, Mbalula said while there could be those who disagree with how the party does things, the ANC policy applied to every member, and no exception could be made for one person just because they were in the struggle longer than others.
“The police applies to everyone and doesn’t mean just because I was in the struggle when I was still young, and therefore I want to blame it on this and that and formulate insurrection and phrase-mongering about RET [radical economic transformation] that is fictitious. It’s the policy of the ANC and we all know that, so we can’t become a force within the ANC because the ANC is one,” he said.
Mbalula said he supported ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision that leaders facing criminal charges must step aside within 30 days or risk being suspended. He denied claims of divisions in the party but acknowledged that there is dissent at times.
“The party is not divided but there is dissent, which is acceptable. It does happen in an organisation like ours but at the end, there is a view of the organisation and it doesn’t mean things fall apart,” said Mbalula.
Last month, Ramaphosa said all ANC members charged with wrongdoing, including the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule, should step aside, failing which they should be suspended in terms of rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution.
Magashule faces corruption charges linked to an R230m asbestos eradication tender awarded during his time as Free State premier. He is now out on R200,000 bail.
However, Magashule said he stood firm as a member of the ANC: “I am not going anywhere. I listened to [EFF leader] Julius Malema. I am a member of the ANC. I will remain in the ANC until I die.”
On Wednesday, at the 150th commemoration event for struggle stalwart Charlotte Maxeke in Soweto, Magashule said RET was the way to go post the apartheid regime. “What do you have after all the struggle? What do you have? Why are you quiet? Why do you think radical economic transformation is not our policy position? Because it doesn’t start with Nasrec. It has been there in the Freedom Charter — we must all share the wealth of SA,” he said.
“The wealth of this country must always be in the hands of the majority because it is important to do so.”