Internal challenges must be dealt with decisively - ANC NEC

Meeting identifies corruption, factionalism, political ill-discipline and use of money to subvert internal democratic processes as dangers

Statement of the African National Congress following the National Executive Meeting held on the 18th to the 20th September 2015

21 September 2015

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) met at an ordinary meeting held from the 18th to the 20th September 2015 at the St. Georges Hotel, Tshwane. The meeting was the last before the National General Council (NGC), which will be convened from the 8th to the 11th October 2015 in Gauteng. The NEC considered the Political Overview, a report of the National Working Committee (NWC) to the NEC and in preparation for the NGC, the NGC Mid-Term Report and Financial Report.

The NEC also received the Conference Reports of the ANC Women’s League and the ANC Youth League. It congratulated these structures for their successful conferences and pledged its support to the newly elected leadership. The NEC further called on the ANC Women’s League to advance the interests of the women of South Africa and defend them from all manifestations of the patriarchal structure of society by inspiring hope and giving a voice to their issues.

From the ANC Youth League, it is our expectation, that the League will once again be the legitimate and credible voice of the youth; the epicenter of progressive, radical policies and practices in pursuance of the youth’s urgent call for economic freedom. Through constant political engagement, the Youth League must harness the creativity of young people and turn their impatience, into positive energy for the radical transformation of our society in general and the economy in particular.

The upcoming NGC shall serve as a platform for mid-term review of the implementation of the 53rd National Conference resolutions and a point for reviewing organizational effectiveness. To this end, the NEC engaged extensively on the tasks of the organization and the responsibility upon us to lead society.

The NEC was emphatic on the need to deal decisively with the internal challenges that confront the organizationand defocus it from its historic mission of building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. Corruption (perceived or real), factionalism, political ill-discipline and the use of money to subvert internal democratic processes were identified as posing a very serious and real danger to the unity and cohesion of the ANC.

Consequently, the NEC reaffirmed the critical importance of the Integrity Commission. NEC further directed that moving forward, the Integrity Commission must present its decisions to the National Officials after which they will be implemented; avoiding the current long processes.

Further, members of the organization implicated in wrongdoing are expected to consider the implications of the allegations leveled against them on the reputation and integrity of the ANC. Members of the ANC, notwithstanding the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, are expected at all times to carry themselves out in a manner that sends an unambiguous message to society that the ANC does not tolerate any wrongdoing, including corruption, among its members.

It was further resolved to commission a review of the ANC’s Internal Electoral System as part of dealing decisively with slate politics and the corrosive impact of money in the election of leaders of the movement. The organization, at all levels, must be consumed with the restoration of discipline within our ranks and ensure there are consequences for deviant behavior.

One of the greatest strengths of the ANC is the ability to self-criticise and self-correct. Principled, bold and decisive leadership in these matters is a necessary precondition for the advancement of our revolution and as such they can no longer be deferred. Preoccupation with internal challenges distracts the ANC from defining the type of society we envision and working together with our people, building it.

To strengthen the functioning of the NEC, it was resolved to restructure the sub-committees of the NEC and deployments to provinces. The following comrades were appointed Chairpersons of the NEC Sub-Committees:

• Deployment: Cyril Ramaphosa

• Drafting: Lindiwe Zulu

• Constitutional Affairs: Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele

• Communication: Jackson Mthembu

• Education, Health, Science and Technology: Naledi Pandor

• Economic Transformation

o Economic Development Planning: Enoch Godongwane

o Energy, Primary Sector and Infrastructure: Gugile Nkwinti

o An Economic Reference Group consisting of economists will be constituted, with the aim to provide support to the economic cluster.

• International Relations: Edna Molewa

• Legislatures and Governance: Ayanda Dlodlo

• Organisation Building: (still to be finalised)

• Elections and Campaigns: Nomvula Mokonyane

• Political Education: Nathi Mthethwa

• Peace and Stability: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

• Social Transformation: Lindiwe Sisulu

• Archives: Baleka Mbete

• National Disciplinary Committee: Derek Hanekom

• National Disciplinary Committee Appeal: Jeff Radebe

The NEC revised provincial deployments and appointed the following comrades as Conveners of NEC deployees to the provinces:

• Eastern Cape: Zizi Kodwa

• Free State: Malusi Gigaba

• Gauteng: Susan Shabangu

• KwaZulu-Natal: Joe Phaahla

• Limpopo: Ruth Bhengu

• Mpumalanga: Dikeledi Magadzi

• Northern Cape: Mcebisi Skwatsha

• North West: Humphrey Mmemezi

• Western Cape: Derek Hanekom

The deployees to KwaZulu-Natal have been reinforced with a team of ten NEC members who will assist with the management of Branch General Meetings (BGMs)and processes leading up to the convening of the eThekwini Regional Conference to be held on the 24thto the 25th October 2015 and the Provincial Conference. The NEC was briefed on engagements between the NWC and the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of KwaZulu-Natal and supported the decision to convene an early Conference in KZN. This conference will take place on the 5th to the 8th November 2015.

The NEC further expressed itself strongly against the unbecoming and divisive tendencies of the ANC Youth League in KZN where the League has madeunmandated public statements on decisions of the ANC and sown divisions through pronouncements against or for certain leaders in the province.

The African National Congress has very clear guidelines on when discussions on succession may be opened in therun up to Conferences and all members are expected to abide by these guidelines. The NEC has therefore directed that all members must desist from making pronouncements on succession, including for the 2017 54th National Conference, until such process is initiated in line with the accepted norms of the organisation.

The NEC is satisfied with the preparations towards the NGC including political discussions being held by our branches throughout the country. We continue to engage various stakeholders towards the NGC on specific policy areas.

The NEC is confident that the NGC will provide a platform for reflection on the progress in implementing the transformative programmes of the ANC. It will also engage rigorously on challenges facing South Africa and the effectiveness of our policy responses. Of particular concern is the still depressed global economic climate and the unabated spate of violence directed at women, children and law enforcement officers.

The ANC will continue to engage with the private sector, especially in the mining and steel industries, to ensure that they do not resort to retrenching people as a first response to the challenges facing them. Structures of the ANC are called upon to be active in their communities, mobilising them to take a stand against crime and police killings.

In December, South Africa will once again have the privilege of hosting the African Union for the Forum on China Africa Cooperation. The session will promotes south-south cooperation and we should do our best not to allow anything to overshadow its importance. Our country will also participate in the marking of 70 years since the establishment of the United Nations.

The UN General Assembly, (UNGA) session this week marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals which have guided development since the year 2000 and the session will adopt new Social Development Goals (SDGs). We will use this opportunity to not only celebrate 70 years of the UN and how this body was an important site of our struggle, but also to register our concern about issues that remain unresolved such as the Palestinian question, Western Sahara and the fact that Africa remains excluded as a member of the United Nations Security Council.

The 53rd National Conference had been unambiguous that we have reached a critical phase of our struggle and termed it the second phase of our transition to a National Democratic Society. It called for radical socio-economic transformation as a means of dealing with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. At the core of this NEC was a demand by the leadership for a united, cohesive ANC with the determination and capacity to effect such radical transformation by recommitting itself to its traditions of;

• deep roots and connection with the people

• vibrant internal democracy and collective leadership

• readiness and willingness to sacrifice in pursuit of the cause of the people

• readiness to acknowledge weaknesses and decisively address them

• and the ability to adapt to changing conditions while upholding and building unity of a cross section of South Africans.

The African National Congress wishes the Springboks well in the Rugby World Cup. While we are disappointed that the team lost to Japan in their first game, we are confident that they will redeem themselves. The South African Rugby Team has 51 million people in it – united behind one objective of flying high the South African flag and building an inclusive, transformed and winning nation.

Statement issued by Gwede Mantashe, ANC secretary general, 22 September 2015