Maki Mechanic, social observerI am in strong support of the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to lead the party after Jacob Zuma.The elective conference needs to discuss the selection and election of credible leaders – free of blemishes, factionalism and corruption, based on the precepts expounded in the ANC document, through the eye of the needle. The deliberations and resolutions of the conference should contribute to the leadership that leads the ANC to the next national election.The ANC’s leaders at this elective conference had to be above board. Therefore I welcome the opportunity to comment on some of the issues which we alluded to in various additions in the different media houses.It must be pointed out, however, that the intentions of my comment is not to trample on sensitive toes, but merely to express an opinion. In this regard it is interesting to note that if you are in a war, you cannot afford to be divided. You have to be more united than ever before, because for us unity is vital – as vital as the air that we breathe or the blood that circulates through our veins.Unity must be foremost. This fact can hardly be contested. It appears that we are lacking active unity. It is for this reason that all ANC members and delegates to the conference should not deviate from the real broad democratic movement, the ANC.Similarly for us it should not just be about saying the word “unity”, but it must be about real active unity. We must also commit to a process of listening to our people. In addition, I want to urge all voting ANC delegates and members to unite as never before, to forget self-interest and to commit ourselves to working for the benefit of others in order to win the 2019 or next elections with a big majority.The ANC is at a stage where unity is required more than ever before. In case we have forgotten, there was a period when the ANC was struggling for power. The NP had been its main enemy, but it also appears that since the ANC came into power, its enemies had multiplied and the danger of dividing the party has increased both from within and outside the ANC.Going forward, leadership must also have the capacity to understand that when mistakes are made, they must be rectified as soon as possible in order to avoid a situation occurring again and again, where an individual leader is able to destroy a whole democratic project, but we have got to immediately tackle them intelligently and in a constructive way.Indeed, leadership must also be reminded constantly that our mandate always derives from the people, and that is a principle of democracy. We should retain that, especially within the ANC.All major decisions should be taken on the basis of consensus through real negotiations and consultations with the masses and in carrying them out with their participation. Our target should be what is good and not good for the individual leader. In this context we must criticise each other and those members who are more concerned about vying for positions and only have their own interest at heart. Having said this, however, I wish to stress that competing for positions would also not assist unity. ANC members should rather determine who was the most competent person for whatever position, not popularity, slate politics or gate keeping, etc.Let me close by saying: Let us all report any incident(s) of ANC members putting others into disrepute or of anyone who attempts to encourage negative feelings within the ANC. And finally, media reports also bring disunity and ANC members have seen this and grabbed this opportunity to break the party’s unity.Criticism may not be agreeable, but is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.