Dear Cde Gwede, please do some­thing

CityPress - - Voices - ILSE FIS­CHER and TIM WIL­SON voices@city­press.co.za

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.