No room for 'secret caucuses' in ANC

2012-05-28 16:06

Johannesburg - Secret meetings ahead of the ANC nomination process are being probed by the party's Gauteng executive, provincial secretary David Makhura said on Monday.

"The provincial executive committee (PEC) is unanimous in its view that members and leaders of the ANC in Gauteng will not attend secret caucuses allegedly being convened to discuss organisational matters," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

There was no place for covert meetings, because "the ANC is not underground, we are leading a democracy".

Makhura would not give the names of those accused of attending such gatherings, where it was believed nominations for top posts in the African National Congress were discussed.

"At this stage, we will not make any accusations against any NEC member before investigations are concluded," Makhura said.

Nomination process

The PEC resolved at a meeting last week to continue to defend the party's present leadership until its elective conference in Mangaung later this year.

It would respect the national executive committee's decision that the nomination process would not begin until October.

While names of preferred individuals could not be discussed until then, the PEC was considering "what kind of team will help the ANC", Makhura said.

This included the requirements which needed to be met to fulfil the ruling's party's organisational demands.

He said the PEC discussed allegations against Gauteng Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi relating to misuse of state funds and damage to an official vehicle. It welcomed the referral of the matter to the integrity commissioner and awaited a report on the matter by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

Ethical behaviour

In order to promote ethical behaviour in public office, the PEC resolved to establish its own integrity committee. Makhura said Mmemezi would need to appear before this committee, to be chaired by the party's Gauteng veteran's league head.

"The integrity committee will be an organisational mechanism for ANC members who face damaging allegations to present and explain themselves."

It would be separate from formal government and legal processes and was aimed at determining how ethical conduct could be tightened within the party.

Makhura said the body would not act as a disciplinary committee, but could refer matters to this structure if it found evidence of any wrongdoing.

Earlier, he discussed the PEC's response to Brett Murray's The Spear painting, which depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

While the "terrible portrait" had caused pain through its disregard for human dignity, it had opened up discussion on matters crucial to the practice of democracy.

Dangerous consequences

"Leadership is about going beyond anger. What can we learn from this... [It can] move our nation to a higher level."

Makhura denied reports that PEC members had disagreed over the ANC's response to the portrait. It concluded that the matter called for "honest debate" over the role of artists in nation building.

Makhura said conflict over The Spear contributed to a "re-racialisation" of South Africa, which could have "dangerous consequences".

"We don't want this to be a black and white issue... It can undermine all the progress South Africa has made since 1994."

While debate on the portrait was largely along racial lines, the PEC was primarily concerned with the threat the issue posed to transformation.

The ANC would "never take the view that the problem is whites", or acknowledge simplistic notions that "blacks don't understand art", Makhura said.

Rather, the painting had allowed both sides of the debate to gain greater understanding.

As such, the ANC's court action and planned march over the painting should not be misinterpreted to mean that those in public office should not face scrutiny.

"The artist should have been more sensitive," Makhura said, adding that Murray had "dehumanised" himself by insulting Zuma's dignity.

Makhura called on all ANC members in Gauteng to support a march, scheduled for Tuesday, to the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, to convey disapproval of the painting.

  • John - 2012-05-28 16:11

    "We don't want this to be a black and white issue... It can undermine all the progress South Africa has made since 1994." for goodness sakes what progress?

      FreeSpeech - 2012-05-28 16:13

      Are we talking about white South Africa or black South Africa? Let's be honest guys, there's a huge difference between the two. White South Africa has the feel of a european 1st world country whereas black south Africa has the feel or a 3rd world African country. Let's not create a false sense of unity and equality because that is one way of preventing racial equality and justice from happening. Black south Africans and white south African are not in the same boat, far from it in fact. Let’s not deny the truth that this society his heavily stratified along racial lines and that whiteness continue to hold value. Colour-blindness undermines the hard work of all those who are anti racist and wish to end the unjust system of white supremacy

      John - 2012-05-28 16:22

      @ freespeech, it because of @Rsehole like you that we havnt made any progress.

      NrGx - 2012-05-28 16:27

      @freespeech - The fundamental flaw in your view is that SA (blackSA or whiteSA, as YOU put it) will not progress with this type of attitude. Your presumption leaves both races in the same position. I think what one should be saying is...why must one "culture" lower their values to suit the other "culture"? Perhaps if you understand that education (or lack of) is the key to uniting South Africa (and I DONT mean blackSA or whiteSA), then you could have some empathy as to why the majority get nowhere, and unfortunately the minority are still the scape goat the "leadership" uses while on their soap box. KNOWLEDGE WILL SET YOU FREE!

      Kyle - 2012-05-28 16:35

      @FreeSpeech - Colour-blindness is the only way we can ever progress. There is no WHITE South Africa or Black South Africa. There is only ONE South Africa. The one we all live in and according to our law and values the one we are all suppose to be equal. To remedy any issues created by our oppressive past we need to look forward not live in the past. Race should no longer be the focal point. The focus should shift to how can we change our mindsets and attitudes towards each other so that we can be unified. Yes we have our own specific issues but we need unity before we can solve any of them. If you view this country as divided into two, you have already lost the battle!

      Godfrey - 2012-05-28 16:46

      And the point of this artice is?????

      FreeSpeech - 2012-05-28 16:49

      @KYle Why are you talking about unity when this nation is still very much divided. Why do we still have black areas and white areas? Why is Soweto over 90% black and Sandton over 90% white? Stop lying to yourself because there is no fking unity in this nation.

      Jennifer - 2012-05-28 16:53

      Zuma has failed his people, and the rest of this lot played along with him. They are all as selfish as each other and now the people have winter on the way... the carnage continues. It is time for change, it is time to build and to stop destroying. ANC has failed Give someone else, anyone else a chance or we can expect more of the same.

      Kyle - 2012-05-28 16:57

      @FreeSpeech - Then be part of the solution instead of being the problem, don't just highlight the situation and whine about it. If your believe your position to be true what can be done about it? The heavens aren't going to open and shower down any kind of solution or resolution. A little pro-activity can go a long way!

      FreeSpeech - 2012-05-28 17:13

      @Kyle: THe diagnosis is more important than the solution because if the diagnosis is inacurate, the solution will be too. First you diagnose the problem then you raise awareness.

      Dee - 2012-05-28 17:18

      FreeSpeech - Yes, you have a valid point imo & perhaps it is more 'layered' : A very wealthy class of mainly black political power brokers and some black and some white economic/business power brokers. Then there is a very divided black / white middle class - who don't benefit from govt help (legal or illegal). Possibly an upper-middle and lower-middle class here? And then a very large poorer class of predominantly black people - who do have access for govt help. So ... in my mind, it is the middle classes who need to overcome racial divides? How can we do this? Please feel free to msg me on F.Book - as I'm sincerely interested in your point of view.

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-05-28 16:13

    I suspect a third force behind secret meetings...

      NrGx - 2012-05-28 16:17


      John - 2012-05-28 16:18

      jup i suspect you right, the third force is = to all the racist, lazy ,good for nothing ,corrupt offcials in the anc that want to rape the country and get all for nothing,

      Gerhard - 2012-05-28 16:24

      Now they know how we feel! We can't trust any of them and they are starting to show they can't even trust each other. We can only hope that the house of cards that is the ANC is going to fall very soon. *holds thumbs*

      eil33nn - 2012-05-28 16:32

      Greed, corruption, self advancement...take your pic...

      Kala - 2012-05-28 16:39

      When you answer the phone it is Richard Mdluli who is listening.

      Oneant - 2012-05-28 22:16

      Ethics? Oh sorry - your kind have no ethics.

  • NrGx - 2012-05-28 16:16

    "we are leading a democracy" - Caould have fooled me...IF I wasnt one one your sheeples! "promote ethical behaviour" - and what does the anc know about "ethicle" behaviour "We don't want this to be a black and white issue" - but it ok to make a painting all about black/white and apartheid. "dehumanised" himself by insulting Zuma's dignity" - no, artistically portrayed his own opinion

  • Sharon - 2012-05-28 16:17

    Is it my imagination, or are those in power a little paranoid? Maybe they remember how they came to be in their esteemed positions in the first place and realise well that what they did to others to get there can just as easily be done to them. Good! To them I say is: You deserve every sleepless night, you fully earned it!

      Kala - 2012-05-28 16:40

      I think you are right Sharon. The ANC big wig tent is full of nervous players all wondering who is trying to steal their personal power house.

  • Anthony - 2012-05-28 16:22

    the cracken on it,s way.

  • Ryno - 2012-05-28 16:29

    why must they always march, toi toi and disrupt society when they want to convey a message?

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