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Can the ANC be renewed or is it a basket case?


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

The renewal of the ANC requires a complete overhaul of its leadership. The party should perhaps investigate the possibility of getting everyone to resign and reapply for membership – everyone from the president down to the rank and file at branch level.

What is renewal for the ANC? Renewal means reform, doing things in a new and different way; running the government and the state in a different and better way than is happening at present. It means ensuring the appointment of competent members of the public to government and public-sector institutions.

Renewal happens when the directors-general are appointed on merit, as are board members of state-owned enterprises; when ministers are held accountable for their actions. Overall, there needs to be accountability for wrongdoing of all in authority. Only then can we start to see improvements in the country. At present, all this is observed in the breach.

We need police who are not caught up on the wrong side of the law – they’re supposed to be enforcing; a police management that is competent, that does not misplace dockets, that properly investigates fraud and criminal cases and arrests criminals, leading to their successful prosecution and imprisonment. We need a crime intelligence department that is competent, so that sabotage, riots, truck burning and cash-in-transit heists are nipped in the bud.

We need a Parliament whose “honourable” members are people of integrity and not people associated with State Capture and shady deals.

Renewal will happen when ANC public officials pass stringent lifestyle audits. This would include the President, Cabinet Ministers, all the way down to ward councillors. We have to return to the moral values that once made the ANC a glorious organisation. All those who bring the party into disrepute must not be allowed to serve in state and other public institutions until they are cleared. Failing this, the disciplinary committee is not worth the name.

As it is now, the Integrity Commission – which is supposed to be the custodian of the values of ANC – does not have adequate power and authority to effectively discipline errant members. It can merely recommend to the National Executive Committee (NEC), while the NEC itself consists of questionable people without integrity. How can it help to send integrity cases to be arbitrated by the same people who are implicated? This will not help renew the ANC, or straighten out the state and the government.

ANC renewal requires a complete overhaul of its leadership. Ways of investigating the possibility of getting everyone to resign and reapply for membership should perhaps be considered – everyone from the President down to the rank and file at branch level.

As a minimum, we need to introduce new methods of electing candidates to national and provincial parliaments. Candidates should be chosen for the respective constituencies, on the basis of one-member-one-vote, by ANC members in that constituency, from the bottom up, not from the top down.

The ANC renewal in Parliament must start with the complete removal from the candidate list and from government and state offices, of all those implicated in the State Capture Inquiry report. The report is a legal document above the disciplinary committee and integrity commission of ANC. If we are to renew the ANC, all party officials who are implicated must be removed without hesitation, otherwise it will just be lip service.

The South African public must see credible leaders, none of whom should be implicated by the Zondo and other commissions.

For now, only the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Ministry of Home Affairs show any sign of hope and improvement. Instead, the Ministry of Public Enterprises is looking for partnerships or privatisation, after the state-owned enterprises have been looted and bankrupted, while while the Competition Tribunal has given the green light for the sale of a 51% stake in South African Airways to the Takatso consortium. What is next? DM


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  • David Walker says:

    The only hope for the ANC is to lose power. It needs to spend many years in the wilderness rebuilding itself away from the temptation of the public purse and the feeding trough. Only then will those who genuinely believe in service to society gain the upper hand within the organisation.

    • Steve Davidson says:

      Well said. But at the same time they need to ensure that all the cadaver, sorry cadre, deployments are given a redundancy payment and kicked out of their ‘jobs’ and competent people employed.

    • Paddy Ross says:

      But this article proposes the perfect solution. If everyone resigned from the ANC, there would be nobody left who could consider reapplications for membership. The ‘cadres’ could then apply for membership of other political parties.

  • Paul Savage says:

    Why don’t you show some leadership Omry, and resign from the ANC? You have as much chance of convincing a pig to voluntarily take its snout out of the trough as you have of getting even one of these ANC criminals to resign from their lucrative positions. Incompetent and corrupt, every last one of them.

  • virginia crawford says:

    Mr Mokgoale, please lead tbe charge and resign and take tnousands with you. The ANC in government is corrupt to the core, and resembles a criminal enterprise rather than a political party. The decent people that did, or do belong to the ANC maintain that facade and give credibilty to a morally bankrupt organization. Resign or be tarred with the same brush.

  • Coen Gous says:

    Omri, the opportunity and possibility of an ANC renewal has come in 2017/2018, when there was a glimmer of hope the new president CR would bring much change and hope. Yet he too, like the massive failure of his predecessor, Zuma, proofed to be as incompetent, and to a certain degree, much worse. Should the ANC remain in power, the country will just continue to slip into oblivion

  • Denise Smit says:

    Your article lacks the word ethics. you can be competent but not ethical. At present if you pay back the money when you are caught out you are cleared and your plate clean. This is not ethical or moral but you and the ANC thinks it is so. And your anti private partnership ideology is unfortunately too much to stomach. You will have to rethink things if you want to start over. Denise Smit

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Ethical top leadership is the key. Skills are the level below and should be hired and managed in an ethical framework by the top leadership, with accountability and ownership instituted for all players. The skill layer should be entirely meritocratic – race and gender and other topological drivers should not play a part here. The purpose is entirely to build the best working state possible, with the consequent benefits that brings to all of our peoples.

  • Anthony Kearley says:

    The answer to your question lays squarely in your article. There is just so much you would choose to change in order for it to be the ANC you want that, in my opinion, it would be far simpler, far more effective, far more immediate to vote for another party which already encapsulates most of the principles you hold dear. To my mind, that is the essence of democracy, not to wrestle a one party state into the shape you prefer, but rather to choose other representatives, one’s who represent your values. Else, if it is not your duty to remove and replace any government when it fails you, why then the right to vote?

  • Richard Bryant says:

    The obvious sign that nothing will change is that the traitor Zuma is not only a revered member of the ANC but is going to be used as the drawcard for the 2024 elections in an attempt to salvage the ANC in KZN.

    If there was any sign of renewal from the ANC, his membership should have been suspended the moment he started obstructing the Zondo commission. We still don’t know why he received bags of hard earned taxpayer money each month from David Mhlobo (who is also still a member of cabinet) and what he did with it.

  • JP K says:

    The question “Can the ANC be renewed or is it a basket case?” was not answered. Nor is why renewal necessary mentioned.

    Identifying what needs to be done, I suppose, is easy enough – just find ways to get rid of the bad apples. Whether that be through life style audits or empowering the police or whatever. But the problem, of course, is that turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. And ANC members will not vote for measures that leave them outside the ANC, or worse, in orange overalls. The question posed on ANC renewal presupposes that renewal is desired which, I don’t think is a reasonable assumption.

    • Johan Buys says:

      JP: believe it or not, there are decent ordinarily people that support(ed) the party. I predict the Alliance will break up.

      SACP is a dinosaur and small.
      COSATU is increasingly at odds with their bedfellows.

      The rest is a big block that is the old UDF plus the old ANC. It is a pity the UDF got folded, it contained diverse groups, often from community structures. So either that part of ANC breaks away or they change political homes.

  • Johan Buys says:

    “ Can the ANC be renewed or is it a basket case?”

    The answer is : Yes and No

    In this case yes and no is not an intro to a maybe situation.

  • Jeremy Stephenson says:

    The ANC can’t be renewed, because given its shameful history, nobody with any integrity would want to be associated with it. Ergo, none of its remaining members have any principles.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    The answer to the question is a resounding, flat no: the ANC has rejected reform in the most comprehensive way in the manner it voted for its own NEC in December last year. Take a look at the men who got the most votes, and decide if the 4000-odd delegates have any interest in reform of this corrupt, immoral regime. The top 11, with the allegations (and sometimes convictions against them:
    Sihle Zikalala – Presided over corrupt KZN regime; water tanker diverted to his house during the floods – lied about it
    Mduduzi Manana – Convicted woman beater; two previous theft convictions
    Ronald Lamola – His law firm received R19m for ‘forensic reports’ on NLC – littered with forgeries
    Mduumiseni Ntuli – Nothing other than supports Zuma in his corruption trial
    Bheki Cele – R1bn dodgy lease deal, racist outbursts
    Senzo Mchunu – Jobs fraud as Minister
    Malusi Gigaba – Faces charges of treason, corruption, extortion, fraud and theft over the Guptas
    Pule Mabe – Corruption charges allegedly for siphoning money from the SSA when treasurer of the ANC Youth League (acquitted); fraud allegations at PRASA (no idea); paid a settlement with his PA over sexual assault allegations
    Zizi Kodwa – Corruption allegations over ‘millions in gifts’ from EOH’s Jehan Mackay
    David Makhura – Linked to PPE corruption (unproven); Gauteng Premier during health scandals (Life Esidimeni and Babita Deokoran’s murder), PPE scandals
    Andile Lungisa – Convicted for assault, corruption allegations in 2013

  • Stef Viljoen Viljoen says:

    Well thought out and well written. Great article!

  • Brian Doyle says:

    What the author writes makes so much sense, but you cannot, as they say, get a leopard to change his spots. The ANC is so morally corrupt and that is the problem

  • Rae Earl says:

    So, they all resign and then what? Who appoints them when they reapply for their jobs? The crooks who refused to resign? And who appoints the run-away-comebacks to their positions in government? The mess is too rotten to contemplate. There is only one way out of it. The Multi Party Charter led by the DA must be voted into power as it is the only hope. The DA has the cleanest slate in SA politics and has the necessary skills and man power to run a new government. If the ANC in desperation joins the EFF in coalition to win next year, South Africa will be truly doomed. My oft used quote from author Ayn Rand spells that scenario out perfectly:

    “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed”.
    Ayn Rand

  • M D Fraser says:

    If all the people Omry cited do resign there would be hardly a single soul left in the ANC, then the ‘renewal’ would actually be possible.

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