05/07/2017 12:57 BST | Updated 05/07/2017 16:02 BST

ANC Fight Over White Monopoly Capital Explodes

Joel Netshitenzhe refuses to back down after saying the party's conference rejected the idea.

Deaan Vivier / Beeld / Gallo Images
Joel Netshitenzhe addresses the media on the sidelines of the ANC policy conference on July 4 2017.

African National Congress (ANC) luminary Joel Netshitenzhe has refused to back down on demands that he recant his statement that the party's policy conference has rejected the concept of white monopoly capital as the country's biggest bogey.

On Tuesday, Netshitenzhe said that the vast majority of commissions or policy negotiating forums at the ANC had rejected the concept of white monopoly capital and replaced its racial connotation with "monopoly capital" alone. He told a late-night media briefing that nine out of the conference's 11 commissions agreed that monopoly capital is a global phenomenon and could not be classified as "white". "We decided to affirm the resolution about monopoly capital taken in 2007," he said.

Netshitenzhe faced opposition in the ANC plenary where the party's final policy path was plotted.

Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, his colleague on the party's national executive committee, told reporters that an accommodation would have to be found as many ANC leaders see white monopoly capital as the root of all economic evil.

This debate puts Netshitenzhe up against President Jacob Zuma who is a proponent of the idea that white monopoly capital is central to the ANC's economic problems.

Netshitenzhe is a powerhouse in the ANC. He was an leading light of MK, the ANC's armed wing in exile, and has subsequently served in numerous strategic roles in the state. He also supported a motion of no-confidence in Zuma at a meeting of the NEC in May.

He is currently executive director of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection and previously served as Thabo Mbeki's policy chief.