‘Don’t vote for factions’ – Motlanthe

2011-12-17 13:27

As the fiercely contested ANC Limpopo conference kicked off two hours late this morning, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe warned against party members blindly voting according to factions.

This was “the single most important issue that threatens to weaken the ANC as we approach our centenary and beyond,” Motlanthe told about 1 000 delegates gathered for the elective conference at the University of Limpopo.

He said the practice of drawing up slates defeated the purpose of internal party democracy. It was also against the principles of non-racialism and good governance, he said. Slates are lists of names party members should vote for, according to which leader they support.

Motlanthe said leadership elections were based on the tasks that lie ahead, and they should not be “a pre-determined outcome of slates that have not benefited from the key insights of the conference”.

“Slates represent a deformed character of the organisation where factions and groups less motivated by what the ANC stands for scramble in a no holds barred fashion to gain leadership positions,” he said.

Motlanthe said slates were bad because:
• Those leaders who won dispensed “a victor’s justice”, marginalising those they thought did not support them;

• Slates were “antithetical to the principle of non-racialism” because they “do not allow for space to recruit, organise and mobilise South Africans of all racial groups”;

• Those on the losing slate “spend the rest of their time after the conference planning and plotting a comeback”;

• Organisational work suffers in the process, because leaders and members “are no longer united behind a common vision”; and

• Governance suffers because those on the losing slate were removed from work or deprived of opportunities, irrespective of their abilities.

He said leaders were supposed to serve all, but “in this divided and poisoned political landscape, comrades even undermine each other’s work and thus weaken the collective”.

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