The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) on Monday reiterated its stance against an early elective conference to elect the party’s new leadership, and also said it had full confidence in its members to lead the country.
ANCWL secretary-general Meokgo Matuba said calls for an early conference were premature, as the party was still rebuilding its structures.
“We have said as a Women’s League that we do not support an early conference because we feel that we need to rebuild and unite the structures of the African National Congress and participate fully around policy issues that affect women that we would want to advance and the ANCWL,” Matuba said.
This comes after the ANC Youth League called for an early national conference to elect new leadership following the losses that the party suffered in key metros during last month’s local government elections.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the call was “not a bad idea” and that the structures of the party were currently discussing it.
But Matuba, briefing the media about 80th birthday celebrations of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, said the ANCWL was vehemently opposed to this.
The ANCWL also said it had enough capable female leaders to take leadership reins of the party, though the tradition had been that the deputy president succeeds the president.
ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini said the party’s constitution demanded a 50% or more women representation in leadership, but all members were eligible to stand for any leadership position.
Dlamini said the ANC and its structures must show commitment to women’s emancipation, as its “constitution supersedes some of the things that we’ve built throughout the process of developing the organisation”.
“Women have always carried the torch of unity in the organisation. Why do we think that a woman cannot unite a country?” Dlamini said.
“South Africa has capable women who are leaders in their own right and occupy important leadership positions in the country and abroad. It is not that they participate in the Women’s League that we want them to lead the country.”
Dlamini also took a swipe at calls by the Youth Communist League for the South African Communist Party to contest 2019 national elections on its own, separately from the ANC.
“We are not going to be sidetracked by people who don’t know what they want. We call upon them, or any other structure, to come and talk to the ANCWL and talk to us. But also, we don’t discuss their elections, we don’t discuss their leadership. I think we are tired of what they are doing,” Dlamini said.
– African News Agency (ANA)