Zuma slams ANC au­dits

‘Party at fore­front of fighting graft’

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LUY­OLO MKEN­TANE luy­olo.mken­tane@inl.co.za

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma has lashed out at those who called for im­ple­men­ta­tion of life­style au­dits in the top ech­e­lons of the ANC, de­spite two of the party’s top six in­sist­ing on their im­por­tance.

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe an­nounced the move to­wards such au­dits in Oc­to­ber, fol­low­ing the party’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) meet­ing.

“The NEC has called for the in­tro­duc­tion of ad hoc life­style au­dits for po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and public ser­vants.

“The NEC has also di­rected that all al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion must be re­sponded to and clar­i­fied as soon as they arise,” Man­tashe said at the time.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa used the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 22nd an­niver­sary of the death of SACP leader Joe Slovo ear­lier this month to crit­i­cise lead­ers fin­gered for cor­rup­tion.

Ramaphosa called for life­style au­dits to be im­ple­mented across the ANC lead­er­ship.

But yes­ter­day at the ANC’s pro­vin­cial Jan­uary 8 rally in Burg­ers­fort in Lim­popo yes­ter­day, Zuma said lead­ers re­quest­ing such au­dits must “be­have prop­erly”, as the move­ment had pulled out all the stops to fight cor­rup­tion, which he said was “not a prob­lem brought by us”.

The pres­i­dent also high­lighted the im­por­tance of the up­com­ing elec­tive con­fer­ence, where he is ex­pected to step down as ANC leader in De­cem­ber, say­ing mem­bers should elect lead­ers who had a proven track record and were ca­pa­ble of uni­fy­ing the di­vided move­ment.

The ANC, said Zuma, ex­isted to serve the peo­ple, “not our­selves”.

But the first task was to unite the al­liance and South Africans in or­der to cre­ate a bet­ter life for all, he said.

Zuma, who is viewed as sup­port­ing his ex-wife and out­go­ing AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to suc­ceed him as pres­i­dent over Ramaphosa, said no amount of con­fer­ences should di­vide the party.

The ANC, labour fed­er­a­tion Cosatu and SACP lead­ers must not be party to the weak­en­ing of the al­liance, he said.

Cosatu and some unions have openly en­dorsed Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma, say­ing the ANC tra­di­tion in which the deputy suc­ceeded the pres­i­dent needed to be fol­lowed. Zuma has said this was not a pol­icy or ac­cepted tra­di­tion of the ANC. He has also stated that the coun­try was ready for a fe­male pres­i­dent, and this was viewed as a tacit en­dorse­ment for DlaminiZuma.

Yes­ter­day, Zuma ap­pealed to those call­ing for life­style au­dits to “be­have prop­erly” and con­duct them­selves in an or­derly manner, to fo­cus on the ANC tasks at hand and not them­selves.

Ap­pear­ing un­per­turbed and in a jovial mood, Zuma said the ANC-led gov­ern­ment had put many pro­grammes in place to help root out crime and cor­rup­tion and to pro­mote good ethics through­out the public sec­tor.

“It is the ANC that waged the war, to­gether with the al­liance, to fight cor­rup­tion in South Africa. It has also gone fur­ther to es­tab­lish in­sti­tu­tions in gov­ern­ment and it has ar­rested those who are cor­rupt.

“It is the only or­gan­i­sa­tion and its gov­ern­ment… that has fought cor­rup­tion,” the pres­i­dent said.

He added that the up­com­ing na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence would pro­vide the rul­ing party with the op­por­tu­nity to re­new it­self. “We must be pre­pared to choose lead­ers who have demon­strated the de­sire to serve our peo­ple.

“The is­sue of elect­ing a na­tional lead­er­ship is se­ri­ous busi­ness,” he said, and called for the process not to be re­duced to elect­ing lead­ers who “toyi-toyied” the most.

“The time for (nom­i­nat­ing) names for De­cem­ber has not come. I know, how­ever, that peo­ple are al­ready lob­by­ing for their pre­ferred can­di­dates. It’s not yet the time… First, let’s dis­cuss our pro­grammes and poli­cies be­fore choos­ing who must lead,” said Zuma.

He also called on ANC cadres to build strong com­mu­nity struc­tures in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the 2019 na­tional elec­tions.

Zuma said mal­prac­tices such as gate­keep­ing, vote-buy­ing and ma­nip­u­la­tion of in­ter­nal pro­cesses must stop from the branch level.

These ills have been cited as among fac­tors which con­trib­uted to the ANC’s elec­toral de­cline dur­ing last year’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions, where it lost con­trol of the three cru­cial met­ros of Joburg, Tsh­wane and Nel­son Man­dela Bay.

“Cor­rect­ing our mis­takes must not just be mere talk. I have no fear that the ANC will win in 2019, be­cause it’s on the side of the peo­ple and God is on our side. We can’t lose,” Zuma told the throngs of ANC sup­port­ers. - Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Shain Ger­maner @luy­olomken­tane

LEAD­ERS of the ANC are this week wrap­ping up their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ma­nip­u­la­tion of list pro­cesses in the Western Cape ahead of last Au­gust’s mu­nic­i­pal polls.

ANC pro­vin­cial or­gan­iser for the probe Richard Dyan­tyi said yes­ter­day the process was en­ter­ing its fi­nal leg this week.

“The NEC (ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee) has been with us since Oc­to­ber in­ves­ti­gat­ing this mat­ter.

“They have been go­ing to the branches in dif­fer­ent re­gions and sit­ting down with af­fected mem­bers to hear each one’s side of the story,” he pointed out.

The ANC has de­ployed sev­eral se­nior NEC mem­bers to the Western Cape, in­clud­ing Health Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi and his deputy Joe Phaahla, Arts and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa and Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga.

Dyan­tyi said the party lead­ers wanted to get to the bot­tom of the ma­nip­u­la­tion of the list process.

He said the lead­ers would com­pile a re­port af­ter they fin­ished their work this week.

“A de­ci­sion was taken last year that there should be an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether there was ma­nip­u­la­tion of the list process and what steps should be taken af­ter­wards.

“A lot of work has been done thus far,” he said.

Weeks be­fore the Au­gust 3 elec­tions, the ANC in var­i­ous prov­inces was rocked by an­gry protests by its mem­bers, who chal­lenged the nom­i­na­tion pro­cesses for the elec­tion of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ward coun­cil­lors.

In the Western Cape, mem­bers threat­ened to boy­cott the elec­tions if their pre­ferred can­di­date was not placed on the list.

Pro­vin­cial lead­ers were at pains to ex­plain that just be­cause a cer­tain can­di­date was a favourite when nom­i­nated dur­ing branch meet­ings, their rank­ing on the list might change af­ter be­ing scru­ti­nised dur­ing public hear­ings.

NEC mem­bers in­clud­ing Mot­shekga, Phaahla, Mthethwa, No­main­dia Mfeketo, Jack­son Mthembu, Pinky Mokoto, Rosi­nah Se­menya and Mot­soaledi will this week con­clude hear­ings into the mat­ter be­fore com­pil­ing a re­port.

The del­e­ga­tion has been meet­ing with var­i­ous branch chair­per­sons and their sec­re­taries to dis­cuss the dis­putes re­lat­ing to the al­leged amend­ments and ma­nip­u­la­tion of the lists, as well as es­tab­lish the role played by mem­bers who formed part of the re­gional list con­fer­ence in the al­leged of­fences.

The SACP in the Western Cape was crit­i­cal of the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee and called on na­tional lead­ers to in­ter­vene in the mat­ter.

At the time, the party ex­pressed con­cern that branch struc­tures in the prov­ince were still plagued by what it called de­struc­tive fac­tional ten­den­cies and used elec­tions to favour those in their camp.

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