Stick to the ANC’s revolutionary traditions – Mantashe

2010-09-21 11:10

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has called on delegates to the party’s national general council (NGC) in Durban to resist the temptation to be bought off by influential and wealthy members and business interests wanting to take control of the party.

At a press briefing on the sidelines of the NGC, Mantashe said practices such as vote-buying, self-enrichment and abuse of the party for personal gain were all violations of the party’s revolutionary discipline.

“If you are in the ANC, you must earn your day’s living. If that doesn’t happen, we will be aware that there is a deviation from the ANC’s traditions.

“We are saying to delegates that they must resist that at all costs,” Mantashe said.

“Our conferences must not reflect that spending. The branches of the ANC must be in control and must take decisions.”

Mantashe says the ANC’s drive to recruit a million members will draw some desirable elements, but the process will be closely watched to ensure that the ANC’s programmes are followed and the work of its political school is successful.

Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said if we get undesirable characters, the ANC would be able to “change them”.

Mantashe has defended the ANC as a revolutionary movement, saying those members who did not abide by its practices were letting it down as a “revolutionary movement and a disciplined force of the left”.

“We are a revolutionary movement that historically took an anti-imperialist movement. That is why we call ourselves a national liberation movement.”

He says the ANC needs to look closely at the appointment of top officials by ministers and board members of public enterprises to ensure that there is an open process that works properly.

When this is short-circuited, it results in a “jobs for pals” situation in which government loses out because people without the right skills package ended up in key posts.

Mantashe said the issues discussed at the NGC would only be finalised as ANC policy in its 2012 policy conference.

The NGC, he said, was a midterm review looking at progress on various issues and discussing where things have gone right and wrong.

The discussions at the NGC will cover all manner of issues, as no member will be banned for addressing and raising any topic, he said.

Mantashe said the “myth around the ANC leadership” by the media saw leadership discussions being presented as “some kind of conspriacy”.

“The ANC goes to an elective conference every five years. This is a democratic process, not a myth. If leaders are nominated, then they can declare their availability. This is ANC policy. ANC members have the right to elect any leader in the ANC,” he said.

Mantashe said white voters were supporting the party gradually, while in Indian and coloured communities this support had dropped a little, a “setback in the non-racial project”.

“When you start to see reversals in the non-racial project, this is a problem. Let’s design new programmes to address the issues there,” he said.

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