Prioritise movement, not individual interests - Manuel

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Trevor Manuel said government should stop blaming apartheid for its actions.

CAPE TOWN - Former finance minister Trevor Manuel says the country should be worried about the current state of the ANC’s leadership.

Manuel delivered the keynote address at the Kader Asmal memorial lecture, when he called on the ANC to prioritise the movement  and not put the interests of one individual first. The annual gathering was this year held at the University of Cape Town. 

WATCH: Kader Asmal memorial lecture

“We must return the ANC to the movement that once attracted us, the movement which in the words of Kader Asmal has '(a) compass point in the direction of its core values'. We must rebuild the movement that offers the inclusive basis for the involvement of the majority, not one that appears to be for the protection of one single individual who happens to be a serial wrongdoer.”

Speaking on the current state of affairs in the ANC, Manuel did not mince his words, saying struggle stalwart Kader Asmal warned the governing party about voting Jacob Zuma into power.

READ: 'Watch this space'- Ramaphosa on ANC succession race

“Ahead of the 52nd Conference in 2007, in the David Shapiro branch, he [Asmal] nominated Cyril Ramaphosa for president. And he didn’t make any secret about this, nor did he make a secret about the fact that the election of Jacob Zuma would set back both the ANC and the country,"  Manuel recalled.

"We should exercise extreme caution, he [Asmal] made no bones about this a decade ago. And set about this part trying to persuade people that the appropriate candidate to replace Thabo Mbeki would be Cyril Ramaphosa."

Now, deputy president of the country and of the party, Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated that he is ready to lead the ANC, come the party's upcoming elective conference in December.

Manuel also questioned why Zuma had taken so long to sign the Fica bill into law; a piece of legislation that sought to combat corruption. He also stressed that in the uncertain political climate, the courts needed to be protected.

“Our courts are our last line of defence, they can’t initiate policy nor can they initiate implementation of policy, (but) they are our last line of defence.”

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