Let’s talk about our leaders – Yengeni

2012-06-23 17:55

ANC leader and Luthuli House official Tony Yengeni has revealed he wrote the Second Transition document that is dividing the governing party as it heads into its policy conference tomorrow.

He has also called for the ANC leadership debate to be opened now.

The Second Transition is a radical call to finalise freedom – more nationalisation, faster land reform and accelerated black empowerment.

The document has been castigated by deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, heavily criticised by SACP deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin, Young Communist League national secretary Buti Manamela and provinces that favour leadership change like Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Northern Cape and Western Cape, as well as by the Youth League.

We quizzed him about the important policy this week.

What will the main issues at the policy conference be?

Economic transformation will come up as a huge discussion. We did BEE with some success here and there and without success here and there.

In 1994 we took a step back and the state now has to change the status quo.

Land distribution is a very emotive issue and will be a topic of discussion.

Those who have the land now must understand their future lies with sharing it with their fellow countrymen and women.

What is the second transition?
It would be a mistake to say the first transition from apartheid to democracy is over.

We’ve built institutions but there are key problems like job creation, efficiency of government and corruption.

But black people have not had a stake in the economy and we must now take the upper gear. We must be bold and take the struggle to a higher level.

We must be careful how we do it ... not to tear the country apart.

A social contract of sorts?
That should be part of it.

How will these issues be received by conference?
We will get contestation. The ANC is not homogenous, we are a broad church.

The older generation will contest these questions, they will be concerned about the unravelling of the unique political system built.


Tell us about unity in the ANC.

Unity is the bedrock of the ANC. You can’t sing songs or shout slogans

that are divisive. But contestation is fine, it should be allowed and

normalised. It must not be seen as something illegal.


Why must we have this war-mongering amongst ourselves as comrades? We

must create internal mechanisms to allow for contest, otherwise it

becomes a pressure powder keg that will explode.


Even a year or two before the conferences, we must create a mechanism

for those who are ambitious enough to put their names forward.


I suppose because it is not an elective conference leadership will not be discussed?

Of course it will. Leadership will be discussed, especially how

leadership conducts itself. There will be an assessment of the current

leadership of the ANC.

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