ANC stalwarts release party failure list

2016-12-16 18:46
Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The full text of a document detailing why more than 100 ANC stalwarts believe the organisation has failed citizens and on which their recent discussions with ANC leadership were based has been released.

In the full text of the document, titled "For the Sake of Our Future", which was published on GroundUp on Friday morning, they listed their criticism and observations on the 104-year-old liberation movement.

Last month, the stalwarts released a press statement detailing some of their concerns that were discussed with the party's leadership. The document was presented to President Jacob Zuma and the top five ANC officials at the time. The full text details all the points that were discussed.

Among the 100 veterans are Rivonia trialists Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg.

The group said they had observed the ill-begotten wealth of some party leaders at all levels and the resulting "ruinous effects" on the organisation's moral and political fabric as a whole.

"We have watched as the leadership of the ANC became mired in a cycle of in-fighting occasioned not by any ideological or political difference but personal interest."

Damning observations

To say the party could self-correct was dangerously complacent and provided cover for perpetuating gross misdemeanours, they said.

The ANC's leadership had presided over the "downward spiral of the organisation and given rise to widespread national anxiety by defending, among other things, the personal interests of some leaders at the expense of the public good and the credibility of the organisation".

The stalwarts made a number of damning observations against party leaders. 

It believed the leadership had failed to act decisively against corruption, nepotism, factionalism, arrogance and election slates in the ANC and tripartite alliance.

The ANC in the National Assembly and Parliament were generally placed in the position of breaching the Constitution.

Party leaders had supported the "politically, morally and legally wrong" defence of Zuma on public money spent on Nkandla.

'Poor crisis management'

The stalwarts believed leaders maligned and cast aspersions on former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and her office, and appeared to not provide support for her recommendations. 

They believed "state capture" allegations had been inadequately responded to.

Criticism was also aimed at the way ANC leaders appeared to collude in the #Nenegate scandal and the saga surrounding current Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The leaders had "displayed poor crisis management over and over again; and confirmed the perception by members and supporters of the ANC that the leadership has failed and lost the ability to lead by example".

They recommended that the ANC had to be seen to take radical decisions.

Part of this required a collective acceptance of leaders' shortcomings in general.

"This acknowledgement of failure of the leadership has to be led by the president himself together with the top officials. This must be done unreservedly."

Joint conference rejected

They also called for a consultative conference.

The veterans had already held three meetings with the ANC. The first two took place ahead of the ANC's last national executive committee (NEC) meeting for 2016, held at the end of November.

In response to the call for a consultative conference, the NEC said it would dedicate two days of its policy conference in June 2017 to discussing the state of the organisation and ways to fix it.

The stalwarts recently rejected the joint conference, saying the two meetings needed to be held separately.

"The ANC will continue to engage with our veterans," said ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa in response.

Read more on:    anc  |  politics

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