Mkhize said that “Unity in Action”‚ one of the key themes of the celebrations‚ “is about a call for ANC to build unity in light of existing tensions” in the party and its membership.
He said the ANC needed to tackle the “issue of factionalism that is facing our organisation.”
Weighing in on who would replace President Jacob Zuma and the ANC’s future leadership‚ he said “party members must look at (the) quality of candidates in the exercise, and debate is open on principles only.”
Mkhize took aim at “negative social media campaigns” that sprung up this week – most notably Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema’s tweet that people who will attend the celebrations were “traitors” on the hashtag #DontFillUpOrlando.
“We will not be deterred by detractors. They will always be there‚” Mkhize said.
The campaigns emanated “from non-ANC members” and the party was “open to issues raised and have done serious introspection,” he concluded.