ANC leaders under investigation have to ‘step aside’

2012-06-28 19:19

ANC leaders who are being investigated will no longer be able to hide behind the “innocent until proven guilty” slogan.

At the party’s policy conference in Midrand, which ends tomorrow, the party decided that leaders will have to “step aside” if they are being investigated, as ongoing investigations tarnish the image of the party.

Until now those investigated simply stated they were innocent until a court found them guilty, and carried on with their official duties and received their government salaries.

Although leaders at the conference did not want to talk about specific cases, the most prominent case is that of John Block, Northern Cape ANC chairperson. He is involved in a drawn-out court battle fighting fraud charges, but is still the provincial finance minister.

“We can’t have the ANC ducking and diving,” Gauteng provincial secretary David Makhura explained to journalists.

He said the party’s cadre policy would be revamped so that the party deploys competent people in key positions.

“We need a new type of cadre. A cadre must always be someone who has the competency and skills and the right attitude.”

He declared the next decade as “the Decade of the Cadre” and said the ANC wanted to train its cadres academically and politically.

“We are paying the price for not training cadres,” he said.

Makhura also announced that the policy conference wanted to reduce the number of national executive committee members from 80 to 60 and that every NEC member needed to have been an ANC member for at least ten years. A provincial leader would need to have seven years of membership and a “proven track record of leadership” would be a prerequisite for both, Makhura said.

New ANC members would also be subjected to a six-month probation period, Makhura said, to root out the “rent-a-member” phenomenon.

This is when members are recruited before a conference to boost the chances of a candidate getting elected.

The conference rejected the American-style primaries where candidates sell themselves to ANC members if they want to stand for leadership positions.

“ANC members say we know our leaders and what they are capable of, we don’t need to be brought into a meeting where people are giving a speech,” he said.

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