Rad­i­cal split in ANC good for fu­ture of coun­try, says Ach­mat

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Fred Khu­malo

A RAD­I­CAL split within the ANC re­sult­ing in the gov­ern­ing party re­duc­ing its ma­jor­ity to less than 47% could be the best thing to hap­pen to the coun­try when it goes to elec­tions in 2019‚ out­spo­ken ac­tivist Zackie Ach­mat said.

“What I’d hope for is a split­ting of the ANC‚ that might still have some de­cent peo­ple [and get them to work with] good peo­ple from other small par­ties‚ and some coali­tion tak­ing shape‚” Ach­mat said on Wed­nes­day.

He out­lined his pre­con­di­tions for an eth­i­cal‚ clean and ac­count­able govern­ment in the first five years af­ter the Ja­cob Zuma pres­i­dency.

“But the ANC has to drop to be­low 47%. The rea­son for that would be to en­able the smaller par­ties to go to the [ANC’s] side‚ and in­flu­ence its di­rec­tion.”

Ach­mat said the ANC was cur­rently so en­trenched it was dif­fi­cult and dan­ger­ous to chal­lenge it‚ but its pro­longed stay in power com­pro­mised good gov­er­nance and good cit­i­zenry in the coun­try.

But‚ he warned‚ by sin­gling out Zuma as the em­bod­i­ment of state cap­ture and cor­rup­tion, crit­ics missed the point.

He said while Zuma was the face of cor­rup­tion, there were syn­di­cates at all strate­gic points in govern­ment and state-owned en­ter­prises.

“There are crim­i­nal syn­di­cates op­er­at­ing within the rail­way sys­tem‚” he said. Un­der the stew­ard­ship of Lucky Mon­tana, Prasa had de­railed funds into the pock­ets of care­fully tar­geted over­seas cor­po­ra­tions and lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als.

Ach­mat also said he was privy to in­for­ma­tion that showed how, dur­ing Mon­tana’s ten­ure, Prasa op­er­ated a scheme which saw cop­per ca­bles‚ orig­i­nally meant to be used in up­grad­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the rail­way sys­tem‚ find their way over­seas, where they were sold to syn­di­cates.

He said profli­gacy could be found in al­most all govern­ment de­part­ments and state-owned en­ter­prises.

How­ever, it was thanks to our con­sti­tu­tion‚ the ju­di­ciary and a ro­bust me­dia that it was still pos­si­ble to ex­pose and com­ment on cor­rup­tion and state cap­ture.

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