Vote buying at ANC branch level creates corrupt leadership – Chikane

2012-03-15 07:40

Former presidential director-general Frank Chikane has warned that the buying of votes during the election of ANC local branch leaders results in a corrupt leadership for the organisation.

Speaking at the launch of his book Eight Days in September: The Removal of Thabo Mbeki in Sandton last night, Chikane also warned that a climate of fear made it difficult for people to freely express their opinions, saying this failure heralded the birth of a dictatorship.

“The birth of a dictatorship is created by fear ... unless there are people in this country who are ready to take the risk and die we will live in an atmosphere of dictatorship,” he said.

The Apostolic Faith Mission cleric and former ANC NEC member defended his decision to write the book, saying he could not wait until the wounds inflicted by Mbeki’s recall had been healed before publishing his memories of the incident that sent shock waves across the continent.

“Some said ... you are risking to divide the movement. I say I love the movement,” he said.

On the dangers of corruption, Chikane said: “When I was still in the struggle I was trained that if you get compromised you are gone. Corruption is dangerous because when you are compromised even when you sit in power your decisions are dictated by those who compromised you.

“You start buying each other at a branch level and corrupt the system from there; and even determine who goes to conference on a corrupt basis. Once you do that you are preparing a corrupt leadership.

“If you prepare a corrupt leadership we have lost our freedom. The decisions at all levels will depend on the people who put the money at the table,” he said.

Chikane urged South Africans to “crowd out” the corrupt and said citizens should take a stand and say they don’t want to be governed by corrupt people.

He said it was not only politics that was a problem, but the private sector as well as it gave jobs on the basis of who people are aligned with politically.

“In this country, if you are associated with one person or the other, they don’t even appoint you to their boards. They don’t give you are a job. Let me tell you the best way to promote dictatorship is business that gives jobs on the basis of the fragmentation of the political environment,” Chikane said.

Those who attended the launch included former first lady Zanele Mbeki, Aziz Pahad and Essop Pahad, former chief justice Pius Langa, and ANC Youth League leaders Julius Malema and Sindiso Magaqa.

The publisher said the book had sold out and that a new print run has been ordered.

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