Dumi’s Digest: Mabe case dents ANC’s credibility

2013-11-25 10:00

Public image or profile is one thing that people use to judge others – well, in most cases.

And everyone – people, companies, political parties and governments – will go the extra mile to ensure that they are seen in a positive light.

It is no different for the ruling ANC.

Since the party took power in 1994, this has been a battle it has been fighting.

Corruption has become synonymous with the ANC since it is a party in the majority and governs almost the entire country.

It is very difficult not to find that any person who is accused or linked to corruption is either a comrade or has been deployed by the governing party.

Corruption has also been a constant feature in the last few years since President Jacob Zuma was elected the ANC leader in 2007 and again in Mangaung last December.

This is so because Zuma himself was once charged with corruption.

So it was no surprise that the ANC, during its elective conference in Mangaung, chose to deal with the scourge of corruption besieging the party.

It drew a line in the sand and resolved, among other things, that “more urgent steps should be taken to protect the image of the organisation and enhance its standing in society”.

This by ensuring “that urgent action is taken to deal with public officials, leaders and members of the ANC who face damaging allegations of improper conduct”.

It went on further to resolve that “ANC members who are found guilty of wrongdoing in other institutions of society should also be subjected to internal disciplinary processes in line with the ANC code of conduct”.

This, the party said, will “send an unambiguous message in society that the ANC does not tolerate any wrongdoing, including corruption, among its members”.

In March, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu discouraged former Limpopo MEC Miriam Segabutla from participating in party structures following her arrest for fraud.

“Those who are facing serious criminal charges should on their own volition?…?step aside from participating in any ANC leadership positions and occupying public office pending the outcome of the court proceedings,” said Mthembu.

The North West deputy ANC chairperson, China Dodovu, was forced to step aside from his party and government positions following his arrest on charges of murder.

And last month, Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive committee member Andile Lungisa resigned after being charged for fraud and money laundering.

These three examples should bring smiles to the ANC’s head honchos at Luthuli House, because they show that members do take party resolutions seriously.

But now it seems Luthuli House has forgotten the resolutions of its December conference.

Last week, national executive committee member and former youth league treasurer Pule Mabe was arrested on charges of fraud and money laundering pertaining to funds meant for social grant recipients.

He’s out on bail.

Mabe has indicated that he’s not going anywhere and will fight the allegations against him.

The party’s head of communications, Keith Khoza has indicated as much, after he told the media that the ANC would wait for Mabe’s case to be finalised before making a decision.

Just like Segabutla, Dodovu and Lungisa, Mabe is still innocent until proven otherwise.

Yet the three chose to step aside to fight their cases and respect the party’s resolutions.

In this way, they allow the party not to be linked to their alleged wrongdoing.

The deafening silence of leaders on Mabe’s case speaks volumes and does little to restore credibility in the eyes of the public.

The ANC should ask Mabe to step aside to ensure that it does not fail its members and the rest of the country by disrespecting its own resolutions.

»?Follow me on Twitter @DumisaneLubisi

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