Hon Speaker, for the record I would like to say that at three IFP conferences I indicated my desire to retire, and each conference unanimously asked me not to. The time of my retirement is an IFP matter. It is not up to hon Deputy Minister Cronin or the SACP ... [Interjections.] ... nor even a decision to be made by the ANC president.
When President Zuma advised me to step down because some discourteous things were being said about me in the IFP, I could not, with all due respect, take his advice. I told him, as I repeated last week in this House, that some heavyweights in the leadership of the ANC, including Minister Tokyo Sexwale, were financing the ructions to which he referred in my party. [Interjections.]
President Zuma did not take his own advice when Mr Julius Malema and others, including Ministers in his Cabinet, across in those benches, threw all kinds of expletives at him before Mangaung. There is an hon member of the ruling party, my dear brother the hon Andrew Mlangeni, who belongs to my age group. We both wrote matric in 1947. It will be presumptuous for any of us outside the ANC to tell him to resign because Pope Benedict XVII resigned due to poor health. [Laughter.]
Judging by the recent by-elections, Mr Cronin's views are not shared by the people of Nqutu, Nongoma, uPhongolo and Nkandla. Mr Cronin will only qualify to talk about these matters when the SACP stops piggybacking on the ANC and stands for elections as the IFP does. I will remind him of the famous words of our icon, who, when talking about me in 2002, said: We have used all sorts of ammunition to destroy him, but we failed. He's still there. He's a formidable survivor.
No amount of communist vitriol is going to determine the affairs of the IFP. [Applause.]