Sunday Times

E Cape presses for di­rect elec­tion of ANC lead­ers

- By CAIPHUS KGOSANA and ZINGISA MVUMVU South Africa News · African National Congress · Belgium · Iceland · Eastern Cape · Austria · Johannesburg

● All card-car­ry­ing mem­bers of the ANC should be al­lowed to vote di­rectly for the party pres­i­dent and other top lead­ers.

This is the pro­posal from ANC East­ern Cape chair Os­car Mabuyane.

In an in­ter­view this week, Mabuyane said the prac­tice in the ANC whereby branches send del­e­gates to con­fer­ences to vote for a na­tional leader ev­ery five years must stop be­cause it is open to ma­nip­u­la­tion — some del­e­gates are en­ticed with money and other of­fers to be­tray their branches at the last minute.

“We be­lieve as a prov­ince that for us to get out of these is­sues such as gate­keep­ing, mem­bers of the ANC in their en­tirety must be given the op­por­tu­nity to vote on who then be­comes the leader of the ANC. That, we be­lieve, is go­ing to kill this funny is­sue of buy­ing votes,” he said.

Mabuyane said they were of the view that branch gen­eral meet­ings (BGMs), where mem­bers choose a del­e­gate to rep­re­sent the branch and vote on its be­half, should be done away with.

The ANC, he said, should in­ves­ti­gate mak­ing bet­ter use of tech­nol­ogy to en­sure that each mem­ber is able to vote for their cho­sen leader from wher­ever they are. This could be done through the use of mo­bile phones and other de­vices, he added.

“We be­lieve in the one mem­ber, one vote model … sit­ting in my home us­ing my smart­phone, I vote and raise my view and we con­sol­i­date that and it is known who is the leader of the ANC out of that,” said Mabuyane.

He said the East­ern Cape raised this mat­ter at the party’s last na­tional con­fer­ence, held in Nas­rec, Jo­han­nes­burg, in De­cem­ber last year, and would con­tinue lob­by­ing other prov­inces on the is­sue.

Mabuyane said a much more rig­or­ous lead­er­ship test than mere pop­u­lar­ity needs to be ap­plied for any­one seek­ing ANC lead­er­ship. He said the party needs to ap­ply the cri­te­ria set out in its “Eye of the Nee­dle” doc­u­ment, which out­lines the kind of per­son who is suit­able to lead the ANC.

“We have peo­ple that are pop­u­lar but lack ca­pa­bil­ity to lead. Be­cause [I am] pop­u­lar … there is an as­sump­tion that I am a leader. If you de­velop a proper model, you can­not have com­pro­mised in­di­vid­u­als in lead­er­ship po­si­tions,” he said.

Mem­bers in their en­tirety must vote … this, we be­lieve, is go­ing to kill this funny is­sue of buy­ing votes

Os­car Mabuyane

ANC East­ern Cape chair

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