Corruption 'deeply entrenched' in ANC, party’s policy papers show

2017-03-09 18:07
ANC. (News24, File)

ANC. (News24, File)

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Johannesburg - The deviant conduct threatening the African National Congress' survival has become deeply entrenched and is no longer the exception, according to documents prepared for its June policy conference.

Arrogance, factionalism, and corruption were no longer aberrations requiring "tactical interventions", but had become dominant tendencies in the movement.

This is contained in a draft document, which is part of policy papers to be released on Sunday.

The ANC acknowledged there was a "social distance" between its leaders and their constituencies.

"An uncompromising fight against these aberrations is a matter of strategic priority. This is the main organisational mission of the ANC in the current conjuncture, for its own survival as a vanguard movement," the document states.

Gatekeeping, money politics, and fraud had come to characterise its electoral processes.

Succession battle

The party proposed modernising its membership system and having a transparent electoral process that would include more interaction between candidates and members. The ANC has until now thought it foreign for those vying for positions to openly campaign.

The ANC has been battling to contain the succession battle ahead of its December elective conference. Leagues and members have been speaking out about leadership preferences, despite a party gag order.

"ANC electoral process should be more transparent with rules that include systems of vetting, interaction between candidates and the broad membership, as well as dos and don'ts that are strictly observed," the document reads.

It suggests dumping its now manual membership system and replacing it with a technologically advanced one, to stem the tide of gatekeeping that has caused infighting ahead of elective conferences.

Most recently, the ANC's Northern Cape conference had to be postponed following allegations that the audit that determined who could be a delegate excluded members in good standing. This was apparently an attempt by one faction to dominate the conference.

Secretaries were seen to be largely in control of membership lists.

"The system should allow for various entry points in this regard, rather than just the narrow organisational channels that lend themselves to door-keeping and manipulation," the document states.

Weaknesses

The ANC's modernisation plans include finding new ways for members to interact beyond branch meetings.

"Such modernisation also requires generational change in the composition of membership and leadership, with socially-conscious, loyal, capable, educated and honest young people finding space across all echelons."

Without a decisive programme to correct the debilitating weaknesses, the ANC faces the danger of losing the attributes that afforded it the responsibility and privilege to act as a leader, the party says.

The ANC is hoping to clean up its image and turn around its fortunes ahead of what is expected to be a fierce national election in 2019. In the 2016 local government elections, the party lost four metros and support across all provinces.

Earlier the ANC said in a statement that it would not comment on leaked documents.

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the ANC was still finalising its policy documents and that they would be made public on Sunday.

"The so-called 'leaked' or draft documents have no standing in the ANC and we will therefore not be commenting on them."

Read more on:    anc  |  politics

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