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Lest we forget: The credibility of the ANC hinges on its deployees

David Ka-Ndyalvan is an ANC member at Akaso Branch

The current narrative about the challenges facing our glorious movement, the ANC, is not about the policies, but the heightened abuse of power, reckless and irrational decisions from individuals entrusted by ANC to implement its policies.

There is much talk about the desperately needed unity within the African National Congress and I could not agree more with the urgency in which this unity is needed as time to recover the lost ground to opposition parties is not on our side. Wishful thinking and dilly-dallying on issues that require morality, rationality and logic would not save the day more than hurting the ANC further. This refers to the manner in which the ANC deals with its deployees in government who brazenly make decisions which often fail constitutional and rational scrutiny, thus incessantly setting the ANC on a collision course with the rule of law, if not left helpless on the sidelines. Such malfeasance is always hard and painful to believe when loyal and disciplined members of the ANC think of the commensurate/collateral damage done to the ANC brand.

The latest of such exasperations is the handling of the lackey Brian Molefe saga by Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, and the Eskom board under the tutelage of the vociferous Dr Ben Ngubane in defence of the indefensible. As a ruling party and in respect of the constitutional democracy which dictates the powers of the executive and legislature and relationship between the state and the public, the ANC’s difficulty is the “baby-sitting” of its deployees, which might be seen as conflation of administration with a political party and effectively running the country outside of the constitutional structures and procedures. This situation emasculates the ANC and leaves its credibility and pursuance of its founding principles and values as enshrined in the Constitution to the hands of individuals who are deployed in government to implement the ANC’s progressive policies for South Africa’s prosperity.

Let me reiterate without fear of contradiction, the ANC is the only political organisation which boasts tangible and workable (not rhetoric) progressive policies to redress the past injustices within the realm of a united South Africa. Thus, the current narrative about the challenges facing our glorious movement is not about the policies, but the heightened abuse of power, reckless and irrational decisions from individuals entrusted by ANC to implement its policies. With that said, if the ANC is a learning organisation, the narrative dominating the public discourse should be viewed as a clarion call for strict adherence to the “Through the Eye of a needle” policy document which stipulates the requirements of the best cadres to lead transformation. In this regard our challenges among other things point to a total disregard of rule 37 of this policy document during the selection process of leadership which in part reads, “A leader should lead by example. He should be above reproach in his political and social conduct as defined by our revolutionary morality.”

Our problems also point to an urgent need to capacitate branches to be able to implement the “Through the Eye of a needle” document in its entirety without fear or favour or expectations for unholy rewards. The challenges we are facing further point to deficiencies in deployment processes and the discussion document on Organisational Renewal for the 5th ANC National Policy Conference to be held in 30 June to 5 July 2017 does not only capture these organisational weaknesses but also provides the required strategic interventions such as establishment of Revolutionary Electoral Commission which, for the sake of the soul of the ANC and the country, must be endorsed during the December 2017 elective conference for immediate and earnest implementation.

Let these well considered strategic interventions not gather dust for them to only be reviewed without implementation on the eve of the next policy conference and elective conference respectively. This self-serving and complacent tendency remains a disturbing retard to the growth of the ANC and its positioning in the society as the only ideological force of choice to lead the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). And the fast declining levels or shrinking electoral base of the ANC can only be reversed by selecting the best cadres with proven record of organising and mass mobilisation whose stewardship and physical demeanour do not only depend on a charm offensive for survival but also inspire public confidence across all sectors of the society.

For the ANC to emerge with this leadership collective during the December elective conference, maturity, sanity and unity should prevail above slate politics, bruising factionalism, rent seeking and a winner-takes-all mentality. And this can only happen when the branches and their respective delegates submit themselves to the values and principles and established traditions of the ANC above personal choices. The ANC values, principles and traditions should not be disregarded at an altar of political expediency which up to now has set the organisation on a dangerous trajectory. Let the best candidates win and bring back our former glory! DM

Ka-Ndyalvan is an ANC member at Akaso Branch and writes in his personal capacity


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