James de Villiers, News24
Former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa accepts nomination for ANC president from ANC ward 52 in Cape Town (James de Villiers, News24)
“No individual can lead the ANC. [The ANC is] always led by a collective of comrades and I think we need to form that collective as we go towards December,” Phosa said.
“We [must] show that this collective is clean, understand the values of the ANC and promote those values not by lips, but by action and contact. If we put that collective together, my answer to the request [to be president] was and still is and still would be yes I am prepared to serve.”
Nominations for ANC president officially opens in June, but several ANC leaders started campaigning. The election of the next president of the ANC is set to take place at a policy conference in December.
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ANC ward 52 Branch chairperson Moses Gwija called on Phosa to come and save the soul of the ANC.
“Our organisation is in tatters, we have a responsibility as members of the ANC,” Gwija said.
“We as ward 52 have made a call that Mathews Phosa must come to the rescue to defend the ANC. He is one of the few comrades that has still integrity in the ANC that we think he can lead the ANC to a better life.”
Phosa, who previously publicly asked president Jacob Zuma to resign, said South Africa is threatened by a dictatorship.
“I will never keep quiet, I will never withdraw: he must step down, he is too dangerous; he might bring a dictatorship in this country,” he said.
Additional revelations of Zuma’s corruption will be revealed in the next coming weeks, Phosa said.
“Let me tell you now, if you think the scandals about comrade Zuma are over, wait for the next few weeks. There are more scandals that are coming out… Fasten your seat belts , you are going to have more shocks,” he said.
Phosa called on ANC members to join public marches calling on Zuma to step down.
“I support whole heartedly the mobilisation of people in the country, calling on the president to step down,” he said.
“It is time, that we with our yellow T-shirt, black yellow and green march and say that he must step down.”
Outside the venue, Phosa told News24 that the ANC would be “very lucky” to receive 49% of the vote in the 2019 elections.
“We should start preparing for coalition politics, there’s nothing wrong with that, it is a democracy maturing,” he said.
Ward chairperson Gwija echoed Phosa sentiments and said that the ANC has become rural party.
Gwija said the ANC blamed losses in cities on “clever blacks.”
“They say there are clever blacks, these intellectuals, but you must remember the founders of the ANC… they were intellectuals but now they don’t have space in the ANC, they were called clever blacks,” Gwija said to applause from the audience.
Phosa told the audience that the ANC gave away their “freedom to the DA.”
If elected, Phosa said he planned on providing additional services for free to the poor.
“There must be a level where the state funds education as much as possible, especially for the poor. I don’t think the poor should pay anything. The rich must pay, it’s okay,” he said.
“Our agenda must be to grow the economy of this country, to create jobs, to create price stability so there’s more investment in our country, to educate our people and ensure our people in the township and in the rural areas are educated.”