Opinionista Omry Makgoale 27 December 2017

Can we trust the ANC Electoral Commission?

This is ANC in 21st century. Most of its activities are permeated by bribes, rigging, fraud and rampant corruption. Many delegates at the Nasrec elective conference were elected from questionable branch general meetings, with discontent in all ANC provincial structures.

Indeed, how can we trust the ANC electoral commission, which had such a critical role in deciding the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in Nasrec?

In the worst case scenario, where many ANC structures and activities are permeated by corruption and fraudulent activities, do we just have to accept the performance of the electoral commission because we have nothing better than that? Do we simply have no better integrity standards in the ANC?

The ANC electoral commission had a simple but noble mission – to administer the election of all accredited delegates to the Nasrec Elective Conference. Its assignment was to ensure that voting delegates and their ballot papers were kept at a secure place under security checks and balances. After voting was completed, all ballot papers would be collected and placed at a designated counting station with electoral commission staff members and two representatives per province observing the systematic counting of the votes.

Despite all these checks and balances, 68 votes were misplaced or forgotten in a remote place. The number was later reduced to 63 votes and ultimately ended up at 17.

What is the correct number? Why so much confusion?

What actually happened has not been clearly explained. There was no consistency and coherent numbers in the grossly unreliable vetting process, since the vote in question was to decide who became kingmaker as ANC secretary general for the next five years.

Could this be negligence, incompetence … or blatant rigging of elections?

This is ANC in 21st century. Most of its activities are permeated by bribes, rigging, fraud and rampant corruption. Many delegates at the Nasrec elective conference were elected from questionable branch general meetings, with discontent in all ANC provincial structures.

In Free State and KZN, the ANC provincial conference was annulled by the court. In North West, the Bojanala Regional Conference was also annulled by the court. In fact, most ANC branch general meetings and provincial conferences cannot stand scrutiny by the courts for violation of the ANC constitution.

The supposed governing policy document, Through the Eye of the Needle, is nowhere to be seen in current ANC structures, except on paper

A corrupt ANC political leadership has lost credibility in all provinces. It is not surprising, since this is the same leadership which failed to defend the public protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela‘s report on Nkandla in parliament. The 53rd NEC also failed dismally to discipline president Zuma, considering that according to ANC principles the president is supposed to lead by example, whereas all the leading structures have allowed him to drag the movement to the bottom of the pit.

This loss of a morally credible political leadership of ANC emanates from how the leaders are elected, starting at base across the country in fraudulent and irregular manipulation of the branches in preparations for elective conferences.

This requires a complete change of election methods in Rule 9 of ANC Constitution. This can only be done with One ANC Member One Vote for all ANC members in the 21st century in electing the top six ANC leaders.

We need an electronic voting system with biometric controls to secure the identities of voters. To vote you will need your identification document and fingerprint before entering the voting booth.

The recent fiasco of the 68 ballot votes missing (or misplaced?) votes will then belong to the past. Assuming that we all have one fingerprint, our past heroes will then no longer vote from their sacred graves as happened at some of the branch general meetings leading to the Nasrec Elective Conference, where some of our dead comrades were included in attendance registers to make quorums.

For the ANC to survive and regain credibility, it must change.

The time is now or never. DM

Omry Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC. These are his personal opinions.

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