The ANC had to beware of the enemy within its organisation, President Jacob Zuma said today. "The enemy is always present in different guises, sizes and shapes," Zuma said in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.
"OR Tambo warned us all the time," he said, referring to former African National Congress president Oliver Tambo, who was quoted as saying: "Beware of the enemy within; remain vigilant".
Zuma, who is the current ANC president, was addressing the elective conference of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA).
He told delegates there were "alien tendencies" within the organisation. These were factionalism, lobbying for positions, ill-discipline, fraud and corruption, gate-keeping and bulk-buying of members.
"We shouldn't allow the organisation to be destroyed in front of our own eyes." Zuma said people "burning the house in defence of those inside the house" should be stopped.
"There are people who don't like this revolution and are trying to destroy it. "However, even in the face of bitter, negative attacks, the ANC had grown. During the ANC's elective conference in Polokwane in 2007, the party had about 600,000 members, he said.
"When we ANC leaders finish this term as we are now, we will have fulfilled the desires of past leaders, that when we celebrate the centenary we must be a million members. We are more."
Earlier, MKMVA members welcomed Zuma, singing songs expressing their support for him to serve a second term as ANC president.
"We will walk with Zuma all the way to Mangaung," they intoned. Some held up two fingers, to signify a second term.
ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola was also at the conference. Zuma said propaganda was also an enemy of the ANC, in that it was portrayed that everyone in the ANC was corrupt. The ANC was trying to fight crime and corruption.
"The ANC, through government, is working to deliver a blow to crime and corruption"
"Our enemy is crime and corruption," he said. "The ANC, through government, is working to deliver a blow to crime and corruption," said Zuma, adding that unity within the ANC was an imperative.
"Unity will ensure the reality of the goals of the democratic revolution," said Zuma. He said the party's current leadership had spent the past five years working for unity and renewal of the organisation and to restore core values of the movement.
"The task is on-going and calls upon all of us to prepare ourselves for the task ahead," said Zuma, adding that the times had changed and with them the problems facing the party.
"Our revolution is facing challenges they will test our tenacity and strength.”History will judge us harshly if we do not address these challenges with the sense of urgency they deserve," he said.
It was within this context that Zuma asked the MKMVA delegates if they understood what the "urgent task" was. "If your answer is yes, then I am happy," he told them. The MKMVA will elect its new leadership at its three-day conference, which ends on Sunday.