‘Why I would be a good ANC president’ – Mathews Phosa

Former ANC treasure-general Matthews Phosa. File photo. Image by: Simphiwe Nkwali / Sunday Times.
African National Congress veteran Mathews Phosa has outlined the reasons why he would be a good president of the ruling party‚ should he proceed with his challenge for the top job.

During an interview with eNCA’s Cathy Mohlahlana on Tuesday‚ Phosa maintained that he does not have an emotional attachment to his potential nomination and cautioned it was still early days.

[pullquote]“I think it’s too early to feel anything really‚ except to respect the voices that say those things‚” he said.[/pullquote]

“And those comrades are entitled to be nominated as much as I am entitled to be nominated for the position – none of us is more important than the other for the organization and we should humble ourselves.

“The nominations will start around June and these are not total nominations as such but states of intentions of minds of people and one must respect that. There is vibrancy about our democracy within the party and we should welcome that.”

As to what he thinks would make him a good president‚ Phosa said that his belief in the Constitution is a key factor.

“I believe we should listen to the voices of the Mandelas who said we are one nation and that we must build one nation.

“We must understand we come from a difficult past and we should agree now‚ amongst ourselves‚ about a programme of unity . . . not on self-enrichment and enrichment of our friends – we must stay away from that‚” he added.

The confident Phosa said that his experience as a politician and campaigner will assist in his campaign‚ in the event that he does indeed campaign.

“I’ve campaigned for many people within the ANC . . . I know what it takes‚ it’s not easy. The time will when we will start campaigning‚ now is not the time for campaigning.”

Speaking about Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza‚ he said Mabuza is “talking nonsense” when he says that Phosa had previously tried to discredit him.

The two are currently dealing with a defamation case brought by Mabuza‚ who is accusing Phosa of trying to discredit him in the Mpumalanga province in order to gain political influence.

“I don’t want to run him down . . . this young man is not my enemy‚ I brought him up. He’s not gonna be my enemy because he’s talking lies. We are in court now‚ we shouldn’t go deep in the matter because it’s sub judice but let’s wait for the judge to pronounce. I’m most confident that the judge will dismiss this case‚” said Phosa.

Phosa also said that there is a lot of work that needs to be done within the ANC and that the focus of some members of the party needs to change in order to bring the party back to its former glory.

“The ANC was clean all the time. Mandela led a clean ANC‚ and Luthuli and other people like Tambo . . . they didn’t have stories‚ they were dignified. We want to restore the dignity of the movement so that we can restore the trust of our people in the movement. What happened in local government in August was that the trust of our people was destroyed and we need to restore that trust and rebuild the movement afresh.”

While he says that the position is not necessarily one that he wants very badly right now‚ he is a loyal member of the ANC and “it will not die under my nose”.

“I can’t let the work of Luthuli‚ Mandela and many others go into ashes because we want to feed a few greedy people – seriously?”

Azizzar Mosupi – Tiso Black Star Group/TimesLIVE