Just weeks after his expulsion, former senior member of the African National Congress (ANC) Carl Niehaus has launched the Radical Economic Transformation Movement (RETMO).
The movement hopes to champion the ideals lost by the ANC, but it is not expected to contest the 2024 elections.
The veteran leader accuses the ANC of having betrayed its original mission.
“I think it is important to understand that the Radical Economic Transformation Movement is about the fundamental economic rights of the majority of South Africans specifically black and Africa,” he says.
According to Niehaus, the movement emerges against the backdrop of what he says is the ANC’s loss of the ideals that advance radical economic transformation, such as the empowerment of the majority of black people , the return of the land to the people without compensation, the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank, and also the transformation of the country’s economic institutions.
“But sadly the ANC changed, the ANC is no longer standing for those ideals: for radical economic transformation, it has now become a neo-liberal political party. It is a reformist party, it is not challenging the fundamental tenets and foundation of our economy.”
But do not count on the movement turning into a political party that will contest elections just yet.
”At the moment, it is a movement; it is not a political party. We are registering as a non-profit organisation with the Department of Social Development. What the future holds, I cannot tell you; I cannot say to you whether, in terms of how the dynamics develop, this movement may at some stage become a political party; I don’t know; that is in the future.”
It is unclear who will form part of the movement at this stage, but many people who are senior in the ANC have been supporting Niehaus.