The ANC secretary-general called on voters to reject ‘umlungu’, while the veterans are in effect asking the ANC to reject him in response.
In a statement on Monday, numerous ANC veterans said it was “unacceptable” that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule had told voters in Cape Town on Saturday not to vote for white people.
He was in Phillipi, “inciting ANC supporters to exercise their vote in a racist way”, according to the statement, signed by 19 ANC veterans.
“As far as we are concerned, these are the utterance of an individual and not, by any measure, the position of the ANC. We are proud members of the ANC, ‘a non-racial and non-sexist and democratic liberation movement’. Our Constitution behoves us ‘to unite all the people of South Africa, Africans in particular, for the complete liberation of the country from all forms of discrimination and national oppression’.”
Magashule also raised eyebrows on the campaign trail when he dished money out to a voter.
The DA has complained to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) about Magashule for the alleged vote buying.
Magashule was caught on video handing out two R200 notes to a Philippi woman to buy food during his door-to-door campaign in the Western Cape at the weekend, which the party said was indicative of how low the ANC would stoop to cling to power.
Magashule later denied he was buying votes, saying he was trying to help out a struggling family.
However, the veterans were more concerned about Magashule’s alleged racism.
“The disgraceful appeal to masses of poor black people not to vote for ‘umlungu’ (white people), are utterly alien to the core principles and character of the ANC and its mission to build a nation free of prejudice, poverty and exploitation.
“Employing racial tropes at an ANC election event is abhorrent and those who practise this should find no haven in the ANC. Magashule’s behaviour and utterances are completely at odds with the Freedom Charter and the constitution of the ANC.
“It saddens us to see that his conduct makes him indistinguishable from the racial populists who have emerged during the years of state capture, those who cruelly exploit the hardships of our people through racial scapegoating to deflect attention from their own misdemeanours and criminal conduct.
“We believe that we represent the views of the long-serving veterans and members of the ANC, who hold fast to the legacies of Luthuli, Tambo and Mandela, and insist that we cannot stand by while the office of the SG is soiled by crass disregard of the core values, ethos and principles of the ANC. Magashule’s words and actions do not represent us!
“We call on the President of the ANC and the ANC Integrity Commission to urgently act to prevent the further befouling of this high station once occupied by the likes of Sol Plaatje, Walter Sisulu and Kgalema Motlanthe.”
The statement was signed by, Mavuso Msimang, Barbara Masekela, Murphy Morobe, Popo Molefe, Ilse Fischer, Ata Mkhwanazi, Trish Hanekom, Omry Makgoale, Ivan Pillay, Laurentia Richer, Cas Coovadia, Sagie Pillay, Peter Richer, Mary Metcalfe, Sheila Sisulu, Tim Wilson, Catherine Hunter Shubane, Aslam Dasoo and Lentswe Mokgatle. The Citizen