BREAKING his silence for the first time since tensions surfaced between him and mayor Zanoxolo Wayile three months ago, Nelson Mandela Bay ANC boss Nceba Faku blasted his critics last night, saying he was not interested in government jobs and had turned down senior parliamentary offers to stay in the city.
He also accused Wayile of not pursuing the sustainability of ANC policies.
Speaking to a group of high- ranking ANC businesspeople at the Raddison Blu Hotel conference centre in Summerstrand, Faku accused the media of sensationalising the conflict between him and Wayile.
Imbizo Events chief executive Motse Mfuleni, Bedevco chief executive and director Mandla Madwara, Volkswagen SA community relations manager Weza Moss and former Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Odwa Mtati attended the event.
In veiled references to the mayor, Faku said City Hall did not want to implement the instructions of the ANC regional executive committee (REC).
“When we go to government, we go to pursue the implementation of the policies of the African National Congress, not your own creativity,” he said.
“It’s ANC vision that must be carried out in government.
“Conference resolutions give a framework [on] how the policies of government should be, so that when we go to government we pursue the implementation [of those policies] …
“We must adhere to ANC policies because … of continuity in governance, so that whoever is deployed should not seek to implement his or her policies.”
Faku and Wayile butted heads recently over who had the power to make decisions in the metro.
In an explosive letter to ANC national executive committee member Derek Hanekom recently, Wayile alleged that deployed cadres were micromanaged and not given the required space by Faku and his secretary, Zandisile Qupe, to run the metro in accordance with the constitution.
Wayile was summoned to the ANC regional headquarters, Standard House, in Govan Mbeki Avenue, when he fired former acting municipal manager Elias Ntoba.
He was told he had no right to fire Ntoba on his own and should take the matter to the council.
Wayile, however, went ahead, ordering Ntoba not to set foot in the City Hall and demanding that he return all municipal belongings.
In the letter to Hanekom, Wayile said Ntoba was a self-confessed political conduit who had ignored instructions from the mayor and council and taken his “tune from elsewhere”.
Faku, who is implicated in the Kabuso Forensic Report, said: “Those deployed in government and in the ANC must find a way for harmony and mutual engagements to improve the implementation of ANC policies. [We must] respect each other’s space as we move along.
“When you get criticised, it doesn’t mean people want to oust you. The media like controversial issues, they like to show the criticisms among ourselves that we don’t want each other.
“With all these press freedoms, we must be vigilant what we read in the papers – it’s never a true story of what actually transpired.
“They are so negative, guys! It suits them to sensationalise issues. What’s on the public discourse is not necessarily true.”
The Kabuso report details years of maladministration and financial mismanagement amounting to millions of rands since 2003.
The report implicates Faku in dodgy land deals with prominent businessmen during his term as mayor.
It recommends that he be charged with fraud and other related crimes.
But Faku said: “People have been SMSing me today asking: ‘How are you managing?’ If your conscience agrees with you [that] you have not violated ANC policy, you have not violated the interest of the people, it’s OK! Be comfortable, don’t panic because your conscience is clean. If your conscience agrees with you, as a member of the ANC, you have no reason to panic.
“Cast your eyes beyond Faku, cast your eyes beyond [the] REC, focus on the organisation, everybody is temporary.
“It is a favour to be deployed as chairperson of the region. If you abuse it, you must know you abuse a favour.”
Regarding his controversial business fortunes in the metro, Faku said: “One person said we should have all our former mayors join the queue of the Unemployment Insurance Fund because they have no right to survive.
“I have made it clear, as Nceba Faku, that I do not want to be deployed, I do not want to be employed. And you are not going to force me.
“I want to be a businessperson. I don’t mince words about that. People must embed that in their minds. I refused two times to go to parliament. I’ve made it clear I want to be in business.”
He lashed out at people who had made being in business the “biggest crime ever that you’ve committed”.
Mfuleni, who chaired the meeting, said they had not summoned Faku, adding: “We were meeting on pavements to discuss the current state of affairs in the metro … [so] we decided to invite the ANC chairman to come and engage with us.
“We have not summoned Faku. He welcomed our invitation to come and engage us on issues of the ANC.”
Moss said: “We are here because we love the ANC. We believe in the views it stands for.
“We felt the chairman should come and address us. We will also have a meeting with the mayor and his council so they can also explain what is happening.”