Sunday World (South Africa)

ANC leaders have betrayed basic principles


South Africans can be excused for being cynical about the ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting, which began on Friday and is expected to finalise its preparatio­ns for the party’s national conference.

It comes at a time when this country is going through tough times since the advent of democracy in 1994. The country is experienci­ng crippling power outages never seen before with power utility Eskom showing no signs of being able and capable of fixing power supply.

It also comes when the country is experienci­ng strikes as workers demand better pay amid a high unemployme­nt rate and weakened economic outlook.

The ongoing lack of access to healthcare, water, food, spiralling crime, gender-based violence and corruption as well as widespread government mismanagem­ent are pressing challenges in SA.

With the crisis at local government level becoming worse by the day as factions battle to control the public purse, the political outlook appears gloomy.

However, we don’t think the ANC executive committe will spend any time to find ways of addressing these crippling challenges we are facing as a country. They will instead be dedicating their time trying to dislodge each other as they position themselves for election during the party’s elective conference, is due next month.

Most ANC leaders appear more obsessed with controllin­g the purse than changing our lives for the better. They don’t seem to offer any alternativ­e solutions to the political, economic and social challenges of the day.

Friday’s meeting was more about how the Phala Phala scandal can be used to unseat the incumbent president and less (if any) about tackling the challenges we are facing as a country.

There appears to be no debate in the ANC about the quality and suitabilit­y of many other candidates whose corrupt past and present history is a matter of grave public concern. It seems as if ethical and efficient leadership count for nothing when the ANC chooses candidates for leadership positions.

Many candidates put forward for election are suspicious individual­s whose names have become so synonymous with corruption in government, apart from their glaring incompeten­ce and general political delinquenc­y.

The Zondo Commission has placed many of these ANC candidates right at the centre of state capture and yet they still see themselves worthy of leading South Africa into the future.

South Africans can be assured that the Nasrec conference is going to be another political circus. They will push each other into leadership positions without reflecting on any concrete plans and policies of how to put this country on a different trajectory.

We’ll witness the recycling of the same old faces who have overstayed their welcome in South Africa’s political scene.

This is the reality we are facing. It is a reality aptly described by the party’s own integrity committee when it decries “a factionali­sed, weak and divided organisati­on, an organisati­on that is perceived to have betrayed its basic principles of serving the people with integrity and honesty”.

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