ANC stalwarts welcome ANC 'rebels' victory over KZN PEC

18 September 2017 - 13:10 By Yasantha Naidoo
A group of ANC veterans have lauded the legal victory of the so-called ANC rebels in KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.
A group of ANC veterans have lauded the legal victory of the so-called ANC rebels in KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.
Image: Stephanie de Sakutin

A group of ANC veterans have lauded the legal victory of the so-called ANC rebels in KwaZulu-Natal‚ who recently won a court bid to remove the party's provincial executive committee (PEC).

On Monday‚ the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans‚ formed in October 2016 with the goal of restoring the values of the ANC‚ said the Pietermaritzburg High Court action led by Vryheid councillor Lawrence Dube was necessary to resolve the party's internal democracy crisis.

Dube went to court in July last year‚ asking for a rerun of the 2015 elective conference. He was joined by four other ANC members representing 43 branches‚ who support ousted chairman and former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu.

Mchunu lost to Sihle Zikala‚ who has said that the PEC will appeal last week's ruling.

Dube told ANC members on Sunday that the "unlawful‚ illegitimate and questionable PEC must pack their stuff and go".

However‚ Mchunu extended an olive branch to the PEC‚ saying both factions should work on an agreement‚ adding that they would wait for the national executive committee to deal with the factions in the province.

The ANC Stalwarts and Veterans said: "Some would want to argue judicial overreach‚ and that it is only a minority of members who want to abuse our judicial system‚ they are wrong. In KZN‚ this was not (as some would argue) simply a case of disaffected members in KZN who lost an election‚ running to the courts. The manipulation of electoral processes is sadly becoming endemic in many parts of the Country.

"On paper‚ the ANC has a wide range of checks and balances that are far superior to that of other South African political parties. Yet so much evidence is coming to the fore showing that the abuse is there; increasingly bringing our party into disrepute and creating disillusionment among the membership and supporters."

The organisation said this was not the first time the internal democracy of the ANC has had to be tested in a court and it was unlikely to be the last‚ as they head towards the elective conference in December.

"It is strongly believed that there is a close link between the manipulation of ANC elections and those who have been involved in corrupt activities. This is part of the insidious process of state capture and must be exposed.

"Now is the time for the ANC to publicly critically review its internal democracy so there is no room for the manipulation of the election of leadership. There has been so much erosion of trust that we cannot see any better alternative."

The veterans said it was "incredulous" that the largest political party in the country was in such disarray that members had to turn to the courts.

"It is a sad reflection on our organisation when an overwhelming majority of members and supporters feel their trust has been undermined‚ and increasingly beginning to even question the credibility‚ let alone the legitimacy‚ of those in leadership."

To hide behind "democratic centralism arguing that internal disaffections should not vented in the public domain is disingenuous. It is tantamount to prescribing secretive underground behaviour among members ignoring the fact that our democratic constitution has completely changed the paradigm for political engagement in our country."

The stalwarts said they have consistently argued that the ANC and the alliance must participate in a national consultative conference‚ which can openly and honestly confront the internal crisis facing the country and the party.

"The National Consultative Conference will potentially be an important part of helping to restore the legitimacy of the ANC which was clearly seen in the support of our citizens in the struggle against apartheid; the introduction of our constitutional democracy and the first democratic elections. It will also show that the overwhelming majority of past and present members of the ANC remain committed to the values‚ practices and the highest ethical standards which were recognised internationally as such and characterised our development as a political party."