E Cape presses for direct election of ANC leaders
● 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
ANC Eastern Cape chair