Expose dodgy funders, says ANC

Scathing attack launched on ‘cancer’ within party ‘fuelled by greed, hunger for power’

[caption id="attachment_104734" align="alignright" width="300"] ON A MISSION: President Jacob Zuma delivers the opening address at the ANC’s fourth national general conference at Gallagher Estate in Midrand yesterday. PICTURE: AFP[/caption]

THE ANC wants to name and shame business kingpins who fund some of its leaders to run divisive political campaigns, “throwing dirt at imaginary enemies”, all in exchange for government tenders.

The party believes naming the culprits is one way of dealing with rife factionalism, which President Jacob Zuma said was a cancer fuelled by greed and hunger for power.

Whether the party has the will to do so, however, is yet to be seen as political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana said factionalism thrived because some of its most senior leaders benefited from its wheeling and dealing.

The party’s organisational report by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, presented to about 4 000 delegates yesterday, details how factions have become so brazen that even at conferences, hotels are booked according to which faction one belongs to.

Those belonging to a certain faction will, for example, get “better” accommodation than what the financially troubled ruling party has to offer.

The report says instead of dealing with factions, the ANC formalises them, even spending money on plane tickets and hotels for certain groupings to hold divisive meetings.

ANC delegates across the country are meeting in Midrand for the party’s national general conference (NGC).

Delivering his political report yesterday, Zuma was scathing about how ANC factions often had nothing to do with ideological differences, but were about power, scoring state resources and boosting business interests.

In the report, Mantashe wrote: “We have observed the corporate capture of the organisation at all levels, where businesspeople fund individual leaders, their campaigns and popularise them by spending huge resources, throwing dirt at imaginary enemies in the organisation.

“The [national executive committee] decided that this must be confronted and culprits named publicly.”

Mantashe also said that if the ANC’s support plunged below 60% in next year’s local government elections‚ this would mark a “psychological and political turning point” for the party.

Mantashe predicted that ANC voter turnout would continue to slide‚ like last year, and warned against complacency and selecting the wrong candidates to represent the party.

“There is no willingness to deal with these because its leaders, even President Zuma himself, have benefited politically from these kinds of shenanigans.” –Nwabisa Makunga, Rochelle de Kock and Mkhululi Ndamase, additional reporting by Natasha Marrian