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Former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa has entered South Africa’s presidential race. He has immediately taken aim at President Jacob Zuma, warning that more corruption scandals are set to erupt soon. Phosa has been among the few senior ANC leaders publicly critical of Zuma and has called on him to stand down in the past. A lawyer and anti-apartheid activist, Phosa has been asked by a Cape Town ANC ward ‘save the soul’ of the ruling party. Mathews Phosa has warned that the ANC has lost support and must prepare for an era of coalition politics. – Jackie Cameron
By James de Villiers
Cape Town – Former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa on Saturday accepted the nomination for ANC president from ANC ward 52 at the Langa Sports complex in Cape Town, saying he can only accept the nomination if he is supported by a leadership that has the values of the ANC.
“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.”
— EBDaily News SA (@EBDailyNews) April 30, 2017
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.
ANC ward 52 Branch chairperson Moses Gwija called on Mathews 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 [Zuma] 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 know, if you think the scandals about comrade Zuma are over, wait for the next few weeks. There are more scandals that are coming out… Fastened 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.”
Crowd attending Mathews Phosa’s nomination for ANC president in the Langa Sport Complex on Saturday. (James de Villiers, News24)
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 blames loses in cities on “clever blacks.”
“They say there are clever black, 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.
“If you think the scandals about comrade Zuma are over, Fasten your seat belts, more shocks in next few weeks” Mathews Phosa pic.twitter.com/R8sAzawojK
— Renier Swart (@RenierJSwart) April 30, 2017
Phosa told the audience that the ANC gave away their “freedom to the DA.”
If elected, Phosa said he plans 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.”