Manipulation of ANC systems for narrow personal goals and the misuse of the state and its resources for ill-gotten wealth and self-enrichment, have been slated by the party’s head of policies and Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
Radebe said at the weekend that the ANC continued to betray its own values through those who were committing membership fraud, manipulating its elective processes to get certain individuals into power at all costs and creating lists of councillors not endorsed by the communities.
Speaking at the official launch of the Nelson Mandela Bay region’s political school, which has been named after struggle icon Robert Matji, Radebe reflected on the life and times of Matji and said the ANC of today was no longer motivated by what he and his generation stood for.
“Competition for leadership positions at the various levels of our organisation is often informed not by the noble cause of radical socioeconomic transformation and the defeat of the scourges of poverty, unemployment and inequality – but instead by self-enrichment,” he said.
“This has seen the corrupting of the organisational processes by those who want to achieve their personal goals at all costs.
“A new culture inconsistent with the noble visions of comrade Matji that was previously underpinned by selflessness has now emerged.
“OR Tambo warned us on the difficulties of being in government [after] the struggle against political oppression. We understated this.”
Radebe said the recent party policy conference had highlighted many of the challenges and made recommendations that had to be adopted to put the radical socioeconomic transformation agenda at the centre of the party machinery.
He said the ANC needed to evolve with the times and implement an electronic membership system to deal with membership fraud.
“We must banish the culture of master manipulators of our organisational systems for the sole purpose of achieving narrow personal goals, where the state is seen as the tool to dispense ill-gotten wealth.”
Radebe said ANC members had to revisit policy documents on leadership requirements “through the eye of the needle”.
“We need leaders who are not divisive, but who will serve as the glue that holds the various strands of our movement together.
“We need to instil a culture of integrity, loyalty and servitude among all those we elect into office.
“It is with that kind of leadership that the ANC can restore the trust and the confidence of the people.”
The Matji family welcomed the naming of the political school after their father. Matji’s son, Ramatsediso, said the institution resonated with his principles.
Dr Sindisile Maclean, coordinator of the Raymond Mhlaba institute at NMMU, through which the school was formed, said the partnership was in line with the values of Nelson Mandela.