The people should govern

2016-11-06 06:18
John Langalibalele Dube.

John Langalibalele Dube.

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A majority of ANC members now acknowledge that the movement of John Langalibalele Dube, Chief Albert Luthuli and former president Nelson Mandela is facing its worst crisis in its 104-year history.

This time the enemy is inside, and it runs through the branches, the regions, the provinces and at national level.

This enemy is corruption, and there is no structure of the ANC that has not been infected with the virus.

It has devoured ANC branches to the marrow of the bone.

The ANC is now a patient in the intensive care unit (ICU).

It has reached critical levels where it can no longer go to the clinic by itself to request medicine to treat itself; it can no longer go to the hospital on its own; it now requires an ambulance and should be on a drip in the ICU.

We now need the best doctors on board.

These doctors are the people of South Africa themselves – the electorate – under a reformed electoral law.

The election of leaders within the ANC itself has led to this crisis.

To expect the current leaders to revive the ANC is like expecting an ICU patient to treat him or herself, which is impossible.

We accept the view of chief whip Jackson Mthembu that the current national executive committee (NEC) must take collective responsibility for the mess they have created.

They have dismally failed to defend and protect the ANC. However, the stepping down of the NEC will only offer temporary relief and will not solve our current problems.

It is time for the ANC to reform the electoral laws in the country and to extend democracy to the people.

Whenever the ANC faced problems in its history, it managed to reform itself in line with the conditions of the time.

From 1912 it has navigated with reforms under Sefako Makgatho, Josiah Gumede, Reverend Richard Mahabane and Pixley ka Isaka Seme.

There have been organisational and political reforms such as the programme of action of the youth league, the defiance campaign of 1952 led by Mandela and the adoption of the armed struggle in 1961.

These were all political reforms initiated to address the problems of the time.

The initiation and development of ANC branches was an organisational reform change, but the branches are now owned by business barons and their effectiveness has been undermined.

Today they are used more like a Trojan horse as an entry point to leadership positions within the ANC, and through that to capturing the state.

Above all, the ANC branch is a toothless bulldog in real terms, since it has no power to select its own candidate to stand for election as an MP, and it has no power to unseat a failed or corrupt MP.

There is no way any ANC MP or provincial legislator must prove him or herself to any local ANC branch.

The branches, which are closest to the people, are politically powerless. This means there is no local democracy in the ANC.

We are now at a crossroads and we need to reform the electoral law.

We need, as a minimum, to adopt the municipal electoral law and have an individual candidate for each ward or constituency at national and provincial level, as well as a vote for the party list in the constituency.

This is the only way of partially cleansing the ANC.

The critical part is to find new ways of internally electing ANC leaders.

The current internal election methods are flawed and have delivered disastrous leaders responsible for the mess we are in.

The Mangaung slate qualifies as having provided the most corrupt and incompetent ANC leadership in more than 100 years.

Given the powerlessness of ANC branches and their remoteness from the people, this was an inevitability waiting to happen.

We now need to establish individual accountability of politicians, from ward councillors to MPs and the president.

The only solution to this crisis is through democratic empowerment of the people through electoral reform, so that the voters control the politicians, instead of politicians controlling the people.

The electoral law has led to South Africa being governed by a kleptocracy, not democracy.

There should be a new electoral law, so that we can achieve a meritocracy where “the doors of learning and culture shall be opened” and where everyone’s ability will develop to the full.

This is the only way in which “the people shall govern” within the ANC, as well as in the country as a whole.

. Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC

Read more on:    nec  |  anc  |  jackson mthembu

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