Dear Cde Gwede, please do something
Dear Comrade Gwede As long-standing ANC members, we are writing to you because we believe you have the responsibility to act in the best interests of the ANC, and the authority to convene a special meeting of the national executive committee (NEC).
We are writing this as an open letter because we are concerned that a culture has developed where ANC members are afraid to speak out and engage in open and robust debate. Instead, we hear members speaking behind closed doors or in hushed tones. This was not the culture in the ANC under ANC presidents Albert Luthuli or Oliver Tambo, and was certainly not the culture in unions or the United Democratic Front. We are sending this letter to members of our branch and other comrades to encourage them to speak.
The sudden removal of Nhlanhla Nene as minister of finance and his replacement by Des van Rooyen did enormous damage to the country and the ANC. The fact that the rand has recovered slightly after Pravin Gordhan was reinstated as finance minister does not undo the damage.
The sudden and dramatic elevation of Comrade Van Rooyen is not the first bad appointment the president has made.
Under his presidency, several important arms of the state have been damaged by appointments to key posts of individuals who did not have the relevant skills or experience, and/or whose integrity was in doubt.
Such inappropriate appointments are not good for the ANC and for the future of South Africa. We are horrified that the president can say his party comes before the country. The struggle has always been for a better South Africa and all who live in it, not just for ANC members.
We are also concerned that the president appears to take decisions in the interests of his friends, and not the citizens of this country.
South African society and the ANC are characterised by high levels of corruption and low levels of accountability. This is not the sort of society for which we and our families fought, and for which many have died.
Government cannot be effective if its leader is not trusted, and the president is no longer trusted. He can no longer be relied upon to make decisions that are consistent and in the best interests of all.
The ANC needs to recognise this, recall him and redeploy him to where he can do well.
Our request to you, Comrade Gwede, is for you to convene a special meeting of the NEC to discuss the proposed recall of the president. Another request is that the NEC should make its decision by secret ballot because of the culture of fear.
Yours in the struggle