Ruling party must rid itself of corruption
29 November 2016
Durban, South Africa: In the midst of the political upheaval within the ruling African National Congress National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this weekend, political stalwart and former Director General in the Presidency, Reverend Frank Chikane has pulled no punches, saying it was time for reflection and immediate change.
Chikane is one of the leading ANC veterans expressing dissent to the current ANC leadership and who have called for President Jacob Zuma to step down and for the party to rid itself of corruption. He has faced off with ANC leaders before. His book Eight Days in September detailed how clumsily ANC leaders handled the removal of Mbeki as president of the country in 2008.
He addressed a group of religious leaders and other members of civil society in Durban over the weekend at an event hosted by the Diakonia Council of Churches.
In a speech entitled “Keeping The Social Justice Frame Alive”, Chikane said the ANC can no longer sustain “its efforts of shielding corrupt leaders” and needed to go back to the drawing board.
Chikane said when the ANC came into power in 1994 it should have dealt with poverty and transformation. He said these big challenges could not be addressed if the ANC continued to have a leadership that put its interests first before that of the people.
Chikane told Africa Daily he believed there was something wrong with the people who voted for the current ANC leadership. “The ANC is only the only party in South Africa with a branch in every ward. 70% of the delegates from these wards voted for the current ANC leadership to lead the party. At the polls, the ANC received 54% of the vote which highlighted the real views of the people. This means that there is something wrong with the people who voted for the current ANC leadership.”
The ANC could not have capacity to lead the country if it continued to become defeated by corruption. “That is where the veterans come in. We are saying that the ANC must take a stand against corruption and must change. That’s the only way it can deal with other issues,” he added.
He said trends of voter buying, gatekeeping, using tribalism and ethnic perspectives in the lead up to ANC conferences should be rejected. Anyone who participated in these trends was anti-ANC and ready to destroy the organisation.
“I do not wish to get entangled in party politics but my advice to anyone wishing to be ANC President is that they must ensure that they are not put there by corrupt individuals. The signs are already there. The corrupt lot in the ANC will not see the light at the end of the day because the people will reject them at the polls. Therefore, it is best that anyone should seek to become President in a clean manner,” said Chikane.