ANC lead­ers to be schooled

QUALIFICAT­ION: WILL BE TAUGHT DIS­CI­PLINE, HONESTY

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Eric Naki er­[email protected]­i­zen.co.za

Party looks to reach stage where its politi­cians are led by con­science.

ANC pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives may not in fu­ture be al­lowed to stand for elec­tion to pub­lic of­fice if they have not gone through the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s po­lit­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion school.

The process will start with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions next year, when one of the cri­te­ria re­quired for can­di­dates to qual­ify is po­lit­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

The ed­u­ca­tion will be in ad­di­tion to com­ply­ing with the pro­vi­sion of the age-old ANC pol­icy doc­u­ment, Through the Eye of the Nee­dle, that re­quires mem­bers and can­di­dates to be dis­ci­plined, cor­rup­tion-free and hon­est.

Many of the ANC’s pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives and party ex­ec­u­tives are known to be flout­ing its dis­ci­plinary code and some have to be sub­jected to dis­ci­plinary scru­tiny by the party’s in­tegrity com­mit­tee.

The OR Tambo School of Lead­er­ship at the Na­tional In­sti­tute for Hu­man­i­ties and So­cial Sci­ences in Park­town was launched in April last year by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

At a me­dia brief­ing this week, the school’s Dr David Ma­sondo said: “We intend in fu­ture to en­sure that no one gets elected with­out hav­ing done this course. Any­one who wants to lead must have done it,” he said.

Ma­sondo said his main agenda was to pro­duce a crit­i­cal mass of peo­ple.

“You must be able to en­gage your op­po­nent, but en­gage them through a care­fully thought­through ar­gu­ment. We want to pro­duce crit­i­cal thinkers in the

ANC,” he said.

Ma­sondo’s sen­ti­ments were echoed by school board chair­per­son Kgalema Mot­lanthe, who said the school was ini­ti­ated as a means to in­cul­cate a cul­ture of po­lit­i­cal at­ti­tude among party mem­bers. There was pol­i­tics in every facet of life and party mem­bers would be em­pow­ered for any po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion.

He said they hoped to reach a stage where ANC lead­ers led by con­science and when they erred, took re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“If you are a leader and hold peo­ple to cer­tain stan­dards, when your fall foul of those stan­dards, your con­science must guide you to step down,” Mot­lanthe said.

Nei­ther Mot­lanthe nor Ma­sondo could be drawn into a dis­cus­sion about whether the ANC planned to set a min­i­mum aca­demic qualificat­ion as a re­quire­ment.

The school will have 13 mod­ules, of which five had been fi­nalised.

Ac­cord­ing to Ma­sondo, any South African whose aim was to strengthen democ­racy qual­i­fied to at­tend.

Ma­sondo said key among the school’s out­comes was to sup­port the ANC and so­ci­ety’s re­newal agenda.

“More so when the ANC suf­fers a loss of con­fi­dence be­cause of so­cial dis­tance, cor­rup­tion, nepo­tism, ar­ro­gance, elitism, fac­tion­al­ism, ma­nip­u­la­tion of or­gan­i­sa­tional pro­cesses, abuse of state power and putting self-in­ter­est above peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

The school was work­ing with the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg to­wards hav­ing the mod­ules ac­cred­ited and meet­ing the stan­dards of the South African Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Au­thor­ity.

Ma­sondo said a to­tal of 1 300 train­ers had been hired to con­duct work­shops and sem­i­nars through­out the nine prov­inces, tar­get­ing party branches and ac­tivists.

About 2 600 ap­pli­ca­tions had been re­ceived.

We want to pro­duce crit­i­cal thinkers in the ANC

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