Pretoria – Without committing himself, President Jacob Zuma said the ANC’s doors are open to the EFF.
During an exclusive interview with ANN7 on Monday evening Zuma said that while it had not been discussed whether the EFF “can come back to the ANC or not”, there was always a possibility.
“The EFF was created because its leader, in particular, and others moved away from the ANC because of certain things, not that they disagreed with policies of the ANC,” Zuma told ANN7.
“I think the problem that the EFF is faced with, is that many people, particularly the top leadership, come from the ANC. I don’t think if you were in the ANC you are able to create another policy better than that of the ANC. I think that is one of the dilemmas of the EFF.”
South Africans were not blind and would not vote for the EFF based only on the fact that its members can raise their voices higher than other parties, the president said, hinting at the EFF’s conduct in Parliament. South Africans want to hear about the content of policies, which is a difficulty that the EFF is faced with, he said.
“Political life is political life, it’s not something I want to predict about. I’m sure at some point people might come to their senses to say: ‘Is this helping the country – to be shouting at one another every day instead of working together to change South Africa?’ Maybe, who knows? But I can’t predict or make assumptions about it.”
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Zuma said in politics there is never certainty, noting that even though Malema had said that the ANC was in his DNA he still surprised many by leaving the party.
“So particular characters like those can move in directions that you have never expected. So anything is possible. The ANC has always been open.”
Zuma also spoke about the expropriation of land and said the ANC hadn’t voted with the EFF when it tabled a motion calling for the amendment of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation because the ANC felt that there was no clarity in the EFF’s motion. He added the EFF had engaged the ANC to explain the motion.
“Let’s not use wrong methods. That is why in Parliament the ANC did not vote with the EFF because the EFF wants to occupy the land,” said Zuma.
However, Zuma did say that the issue of land was still on the ANC’s agenda and that the party would find a legal way to deal with it as the willing buyer, willing seller policy implemented in 1994 had not been successful.
“You can’t solve inequality and poverty without resolving the land question.”
Zuma said the solution needed to be user-friendly and within the framework of the law.
“If this matter is not resolved it could be a time bomb that will explode down the line.”
Zuma concluded the interview by saying that after the ANC elective conference in December he would still be the president of the country, but would be involved in the ANC at branch level.