Oscar stretches out olive branch

'Unity unity maqabane (comrades), phakama phakama (rise) Eastern Cape!”

That is the lesson the Eastern Cape ANC has taken from the recent national conference as the Oscar Mabuyane-led team embarks on a journey to unite the divided province.

With the province having accomplished its mission to deliver Cyril Ramaphosa to the governing party’s top job, the focus now shifts to uniting the party in the Eastern Cape.

Mabuyane said a priority would be engaging the likes of the Amathole region, which went to Nasrec backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Mabuyane called on all ANC members in the province to desist from being disgruntled if their preferred leaders did not get elected at the conference.

Instead, he said, it was important for all to rally towards the ANC’s vision of realising the complete emancipation of all South Africans. It was for this reason that the PEC was extending an olive branch to those who held a different view going to Nasrec and before that, during the “festival of chairs” provincial conference that elected Mabuyane and his collective.

Mabuyane said unity of purpose in implementing the decision of the Nasrec conference was of paramount importance.

“We have been talking to those who held a different view and posture towards the leadership as elected in East London ICC and our subsequent mandate towards Nasrec and we are pleased by the willingness to move forward,” said Mabuyane.

“It is everyone’s democratic right to have particular opinions on issues but comrades must be comrades after conference and ours is to make the ANC in this province a warm and comfortable home for all its members.

“When we say unity in the ANC is sacrosanct, we mean it because that is the principle within which we can achieve the non-racial and prosperous South Africa that was envisaged by the national democratic revolution.”

The Mabuyane-led PEC has been at loggerheads with certain ANC regions – led by Amathole – who supported Phumulo Masualle for a third term.

The bile between the two factions had been so bad that the Masualle camp refused to recognise the Mabuyane group, but one court action after another was dismissed.

Mabuyane says retribution will not be their agenda.

He said the support given to Masualle, who was elected to the new ANC national executive committee (NEC), was a positive foundation that unity could indeed be achieved in the province.

Masualle was elected to the NEC with more votes than any other Eastern Cape politician who made the cut.

“Provinces rally behind their own and we had to make it a point that we support comrade Phumulo, who is no stranger to national politics having served in the NEC since the Polokwane conference, and we have confidence he and other comrades of the Eastern Cape will represent us well,” said Mabuyane. — zingisam@dispatch.co.za

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