The President of the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has warned that anyone wanting to raise issues must do so within the structures of the organisation and not through statements in the media.
Bathabile Dlamini, who is also Social Development Minister, was speaking on the sidelines of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York.
In a frank interview, she warned against members of the ANC airing the organisation's dirty linen in public.
Dlamini feels somewhat conflicted being in New York while the ANC’s National Executive Committee sits in Pretoria, but she talked about the culture of the organisation that was above all else.
"The ANC is bigger than all of us and anyone who wants to raise an issue about what has happened to them must go to the structures of the ANC because this has been the culture of the ANC. And therefore if there are differences they must be sorted out from the official level up until the national executive committee. They cannot be sorted out through media statements."
The SABC asked her if this was a reference to the media statement released by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas on being offered a Cabinet position by members of the Gupta family.
The ANC is bigger than all of us
"Not only the minister, everyone has been talking starting from the issue of the appointment of the Minister of Finance, to the issues of people that were approached and others calling on people to speak about what has happened to them. So we might have different issues and all those issues are not important, it is the ANC that is important. Because if one starts throwing dirty linen outside, the others are going to say you too have done this and this and that. And so that is why it has never been the culture of the ANC to discuss issues outside the ANC."
Dlamini says her experience with the Guptas was limited to reading their newspaper and watching their television channel.
"Even that family, if people feel it has to be brought to book, structures must do that, the officials must call them and talk to them and give them a marching order not through shouting outside because all of us in the NEC have our small skeletons and we don’t want to take out all skeletons out because hell will break loose."
Asked if she was appointed by the Guptas, she says, "Not at all, no. I wasn’t."
The ANC has indicated that the Guptas alleged capture of the State is not part of their agenda in Pretoria this weekend.