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Electoral flaws make ANC systems vulnerable to crookery
16 December 2017, 4:10 PM

The number of cases brought successfully against ANC pseudo structures exposes the inherent weakness of the ANC as an organisation in relation to those of its members with narrow private interests who feel entitled to lead the party.

The simplest way to contest a leadership position in a democratic culture is for one to present a compelling manifesto and profile and humbly subject their political ambitions to the fate of the people. Aspirant leaders must convince fellow members why they seek to be elected and allow those members to vote freely using their own free will and judgement.

However, that is not so in the ANC in many cases. ANC politicians prefer manipulation and control of processes as well as domination over individual members in order to ensure they become leaders regardless of the genuine will of the people.

To achieve their leadership aspirations, people lie, sideline others, steal, buy votes, and promise heaven and earth in order to be elected. They intimidate some and hold others at ransom. This is why people would have “the numbers” even before a conference sits, and precisely why outcomes of “democratic processes” in the party can almost always be faltered.

The distinguishing factor between a system in which leadership emerges through crockery and one with a genuine democratic culture with members having free space to make their own decisions, is humility and, by implication, a focus on pleasing the people. Its opposite, found in neopatrimonialism political sytems described above, is arrogance and entitlement, with the membership held at ransom by aspirant leaders and bullied to supress their genuine wishes.

The solution for the ANC is to close all the loops that allow individuals, be they at leadership or general membership level, to violate processes, systems, and structures for narrow political gain. Anything less will not salvage what’s left of the rapidly declining liberation party.

Ongama Mtimka is a political analyst, senior researcher, lecturer, and PhD candidate at Nelson Mandela University’s Department of Political & Conflict Studies. He writes on his personal capacity.

Zuma urges future ANC leaders to unite the organisation
15 December 2017, 9:57 PM

President Jacob Zuma has advised the future leader of the ANC to focus on uniting the organisation. Zuma was speaking to the SABC ahead of the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference, which starts at Nasrec in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC MP, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, are the frontrunners to succeed Zuma as party president. Zuma says the organistions has many challenges.

“We are here and the leader must participate and lead us in uniting the ANC. I believe we need to get rid of the factions. They are a wrong instrument in the organisation.

“We need a leader that is going to embrace other leaders and engage to be united. That leader must lead all of us and nobody must feel that this is not my leader.”

President Zuma says he is ready to bow out as the leader of the ANC. He says, “One has had some responsibilities in the past but the time has come and I think I am happy and ready for it and I think the ANC is not running short of cadres to take on the baton.

“I am ready also to bow out and be there as an ordinary member. I am going to be more active and going to have more time to make comments and no longer carrying responsibilities that at times you may not say things that would have said otherwise if you are not a president. So I will be having more freedom to speak or have what people say ‘freedom of speech’ after this.”

The ANC president says it is ‘unfortunate’ that ANC disputes have to be taken to court

The governing party lost three court cases in less than 24 hours. The ANC Free State Provincial Conference was today declared unlawful and void. In KwaZulu Natal, the High Court in Pietermaritzburg upheld the nullification of the 2015 KZN ANC elective conference, and in the North West, the ANC Bojanala regional conference was declared invalid.

“It’s unfortunate that our constitutional democracy in a sense has opened that kind of people going to court. My view is that instead of political discussions and persuasions, which dominate democracy in our country, we have taken our democracy to the other extreme. It’s unfortunate because it is even giving people a wrong impression that democracy is a terrible system that we have got to be in court all the time.”

Watch the full interview:

Steps afoot to minimise impact of Steinhoff scandal- Gigaba
15 December 2017, 9:44 PM

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba says regulatory bodies will be investigating various aspects of the Steinhoff accounting scandal, looking at possible fraud, corruption and misconduct.

He says legal or criminal action will be taken against those responsible. Gigaba has met various industry stakeholders regarding the Steinhoff scandal.

A week after the corporate scandal broke, the company admitted to accounting irregularities and suspicions rose about fraud.

It lost more than R210 billion and its share price fell by as much as 80% last week.

The finance minister met industry players on Friday.

Steps are being taken to try and minimise the impact. Shareholders, investors and pension funds have suffered losses. Fears of job losses in subsidiary retail companies have also been raised.

The Steinhoff saga has highlighted issues of corporate governance and accountability. But the big question: Why were these accounting irregularities not picked up sooner.

On Thursday Christo Wiese resigned as Steinhoff chair. The company said this was to avoid conflicts of interest as a probe into the company’s finances was underway in Germany.

Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa says land reform irreversible
15 December 2017, 9:27 PM

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa reassured supporters on Friday at a party congress that those who repossessed land from white farmers in a programme spearheaded by deposed leader Robert Mugabe would keep the land.

Land is an emotive issue in the southern African nation after the violent invasion of white-owned farms in 2000 by supporters of former president Mugabe, who defended the seizures as a necessary redress of colonial-era imbalances.

The seizures sent the agricultural sector — the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy, once one of Africa’s most promising — into a tail-spin, triggering a broader slump that saw GDP almost halve between 2000 and 2008.

WATCH: Exclusive interview with ANC president Jacob Zuma
15 December 2017, 8:41 PM

SABC in exclusive interview with the outgoing president of the ANC.

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