Magashule brushes off criticism ANC NEC didn’t attend Joe Slovo commemoration

SACP members commemorate the death of Joe Slovo at Avalon Cemetery in Johannesburg, 6 January 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The ANC has deployed all its members to the Northern Cape ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa’s January 8 statement at the weekend.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has brushed off concerns that top ANC leaders had not attended the SACP’s commemoration of Joe Slovo’s death, responding to the criticism with a shrug.

Labour federation Cosatu’s general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, hit out at the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) during the SACP event, which took place in Johannesburg on Monday.

Ntshalintshali said the ANC had failed to deploy any of its senior members to the communist party’s event honouring its former general-secretary.

The ANC has deployed all its members to the Northern Cape ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa’s January 8 statement at the weekend.

The rally marks the party’s 108th birthday.

When asked to respond to claims the NEC had snubbed the event, Magashule shrugged his shoulders and said the SACP’s own general-secretary, Blade Nzimande, was a member of the ANC’s NEC.

He said his party’s gathering was also important.

“Comrade Blade Nzimande is a member of the national executive committee of the African National Congress, he is a high-profile leader.”

Nzimande gave his speech at the commemoration earlier on Monday.

Magashule said the ANC had sent numerous members, including provincial leaders, but NEC members were contributing to the January 8 statement that would provide direction for the party and government.

While refusing to share the priorities that will be highlighted by Ramaphosa, Magashule said this was a wonderful and correct time for the ANC to hold its event in the Northern Cape.

“We just want to say to South Africans the world over, globally, there are challenges of unemployment, challenges of poverty. It’s not just a South African thing.”

He said the ANC would be looking at weaknesses and shortcomings to find opportunities in a bid to give South Africans hope there would be a better tomorrow.

The ANC will hold its birthday rally in Kimberley on Saturday.

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