ANC details plan to keep deadbeats, rogues and rascals out of the party
Murderers, rapists, child and women abusers and people found guilty of corruption will no longer be considered for membership in the broad church that is the ANC.
The party will go as far as blocking deadbeat parents from holding its membership, all in an effort to clean up its image and improve the quality of its cadres. That is if the proposed amendments to its constitution are backed by its branches and adopted at the national conference in December.
The ANC wants to introduce a stringent criteria to assess whether wannabe members are fit to hold its membership. It will automatically exclude those who have been found guilty of crime from becoming members. The proposals are contained in a document drafted by the Ronald Lamola-led subcommittee on constitutional and legal affairs which will be distributed to ANC branches for discussion.
They will need the backing of two-thirds of the delegates at the December national conference for them to carry. A special national executive committee (NEC) committee will sit next Tuesday to discuss the proposed amendments.
The criteria or factors which must automatically exclude membership of the ANC include:
— having been found guilty of murder, rape or armed robbery; and
— ditto any other offence containing an element of serious violence, or any sexual offence leading to listing in the sex register, or any other offence involving physical violence or abuse relating to women or children.
The door will also be shut on drug traffickers, human traffickers, money launderers, racketeers or anyone found guilty of involvement in an organised crime syndicate or a gang.
Now the ANC systems do not sift out criminals who aspire to be members.
If the new rules are approved, the powerful NEC could block membership of those identified for unethical conduct or behaviour which includes deliberate neglect or lack of maintenance or providing for children.
The ANC chose its words carefully when dealing with the membership of those who are corrupt.
The automatic exclusion extends to those who have been found guilty in a court of law of “an offence containing an element of dishonesty and is of a serious nature because of the amount involved or because the money was destined for a project catering for the poor, unemployed or the marginalised in society or because the perpetrator was an elected ANC leader or a public representative or a civil servant or a person in a position of trust or authority”.
Aspirant members who had been served with a charge sheet or summons to appear in court for any of the offences listed above or served with a charge sheet in disciplinary proceedings, for any act of misconduct containing an element of serious violence, sexual violence, harassment or abuse, or serious dishonesty, or physical violence or abuse relating to women or children will stand no chance of success.
Aspirant members whose membership application has been declined based on the above criteria will be allowed to appeal to the NEC, and the NEC decision will be final.
When accepted as a full member, an aspirant ANC member will then have to complete an induction course and be issued with a certificate of completion.
ANC general manager Febe Potgieter told journalists last month that the ANC wants all its members to renew their membership regardless of how long they have been with the party. All members will also have to be vetted.
The move is aimed at rooting out those with criminal records.
The proposal was made at the party's policy conference in Johannesburg last month, she said.
“The proposal is that after national conference, we have a process where we all renew our membership and all get vetted. All the members of the ANC then need to be able to get vetted so that you're sure that then the membership that you have are members that indeed ascribe to an agreed set of values, a set of principles, a set of criteria that we have,” said Potgieter.
Former president Thabo Mbeki is one of the party leaders who have advocated overhauling the ANC membership.
He believes the party has been infiltrated by rogue elements who do not subscribe to the values of the ANC and have joined only as a means of getting access to financial resources.
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