NGC marks a turning point

2010-09-23 07:03

The ANC national general council (NGC) seems likely to adopt a programme of action authorising the national executive committee to crack down on a lack of discipline and corruption, and restore the party’s values.

At the same time, certain commissions at the NGC have called on the “leaders to act swiftly and decisively against ­anybody as long as that person is a member of the ANC, whoever you are and wherever you are”.

The NGC is also set to push for the creation of an integrity committee aimed at ensuring members and leaders avoided crossing the line on moral issues.

NEC member David Makhura, in a briefing on discussion on strategy and tactics and organisational renewal, said delegates had generally backed the reports of ANC president Jacob Zuma and secretary-general Gwede Mantashe for their honest analysis of the state of the party and the errant behaviour which had crept into its organisational culture.

He said both reports were “very forthright” about challenges and “what we need to do” to deal with the problems.

Makhura said the feeling among delegates was that the NGC needed to go down in history as the conference at which the party went beyond recognising its problems and weaknesses and took decisive action to deal with them.

“This NGC will mark a turning point,” he said. “That message is coming very strongly from all the delegates.”

He said the NGC would be asked to take “decisive action” on a variety of key issues undermining the party, ranging from vote-buying and manipulation of structures to ill-discipline and corruption.

“We can expect a lot of action on the part of the NEC to deal with issues of ­exemplary conduct,” said Makhura.

“The NEC itself is being called upon to show exemplary conduct and leadership on this issue. Delegates are saying that there are many things which cannot be postponed in dealing with the issue of discipline.”

Delegates discussing the reports had come up with a “lot of support” for the creation of an “integrity committee”, which would monitor the ethical and other behaviour of members and leaders and ensured that those who “strayed” were “brought back into line”.

Makhura said delegates had shown “much more” interest in the state of the organisation and what needed to be done to defend and build it.

The NGC, he said, would want a comprehensive programme of action to deal with these issues, rather than simply identifying the problems and leaving things there.

He said that by the time of the ANC‘s centenary in 2012 delegates wanted the NEC to be able to say that they had “turned the corner” in resolving the problems afflicting the organisation.

“We are likely to see the NEC cutting across the country” dealing with problems “decisively” right after the NGC.

NEC member Tony Yengeni said a lack of discipline “has caught the attention of our membership and it resonates across commissions.

“The suggestion which is practical is that we need to take this to the alliance for discussion, because as the ANC we cannot allow anybody to use the fig leaf of another organisation to impugn the integrity of the ANC,” Yengeni said.

NEC member Fikile Mbalula said the discussions were “self-analysis and self­criticism” initiated not because the ANC was “facing death”, but to ensure that it stayed on its path. He said the renewal had to be discussed because of the “yawning gap between stated objectives and day-to-day conduct”.

Mbalula and ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu dismissed reports of the youth league “fighting back” against Zuma as “conspiracy theories”.

Asked whether he would stand as ­secretary-general if nominated in 2012, Mbalula replied: “I do not account about my availability on the record to the ­media because it is not a branch of the ANC.”

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