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Influential foundations call on ANC NEC to take 'urgent corrective action'
The foundations represent former presidents Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo & struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada.
JOHANNESBURG – As the African National Congress (ANC)'s national executive committee (NEC) prepares to report back on its crucial meeting, three foundations representing three ANC stalwarts, have called on the meeting to take urgent corrective action to restore confidence in the governing party. ANC HEAVYWEIGHT SPEAKS OUT AGAINST GUPTA INFLUENCE WATCH: Jonas: The Guptas offered me SA finance minister job.
The party is wrapping up the meeting in Centurion this afternoon.
The three foundations represent former ANC presidents Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada.
The three foundations have called on the NEC to take note of the mood of the people across the country.
The foundations say South Africa is now witnessing the erosion of the universal administration of the state.
They say the NEC should reflect on their solemn responsibilities and make urgent choices.
They also say history will judge the ANC harshly if it does not take decisions to restore the trust and confidence of South Africa's people.
The letter is signed by struggle veteran Dr Frene Ginwala, professor Njabulo Ndebele and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom in his capacity as Ahmed Kathrada foundation chair.
THE FULL LETTER
To: The National Executive Committee of the ANC
c/o The Secretary-General, Mr Gwede Mantashe
The Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation jointly write to you at a difficult time in the history of the African National Congress and our country, South Africa. The ANC has been through challenging times before, but with the resourceful and courageous leadership the organisation has been blessed with in its long history, it can yet again provide an invigorated, visionary course into the future.
We are deeply concerned about the current course on which our country is headed.
We believe this course is contrary to the individual and collective legacy of our Founders.
We read disturbing stories in newspapers and other media about “state capture”; we see important institutions of democracy such as Parliament under great strain; we hear what ordinary South Africans tell us through our work, and are challenged by friends and comrades who witness cumulative fragmentation of the ANC, a great organisation our Founders helped build and sustain over generations. In the spirit of our Founders, we cannot passively watch these deeply concerning developments unfold and get worse by the day.
Leaders such as Tambo, Mandela and Kathrada helped shape the ANC by providing a vision of a better future for all our people. Their vision of freedom, social justice, and democracy was embraced by millions of South Africans. It was based on and driven by strong moral authority and principled engagement. Their leadership and that of the ANC were admired the world over. It inspired other people in their own struggles.
In 1994, the humanity and dignity of our people were restored, and the new state, a constitutional democracy, began to support that humanity and dignity with varied institutions it created and which were dedicated to achieving a better quality of life for all its citizens.
In its leadership of this new democracy the government of the African National Congress enjoyed overwhelming support across the nation: the youth, religious communities, civil society, and South Africans of all persuasions. The worldwide solidarity in support of a cause that was as universal as it was humanistic, showed the extent to which South Africa had inspired the world.
Sadly, by the day we witness the steady erosion of something very rare in human history: a near universal admiration of a country and what it had pledged itself to achieve. All South Africans have a living memory of the freedoms we have won and experienced. We cannot sit back and watch those freedoms being taken away.
It is in this respect that it seems to us that the ANC has significantly drifted away from the ideals to which our Founders and many others, dedicated their lives. We are disturbed by accounts we receive from students, religious leaders, members of our community, the media and from civil society organisations about the disillusionment of our people and their waning trust in the ANC as a result of the unfolding events.
We believe we have reached a watershed moment. We appeal to the National Executive Committee of the ANC as they meet over the weekend to take note of the mood of the people across the country, to reflect deeply on their solemn responsibilities, to make urgent choices, and to take urgent corrective actions in the best interest of South Africa and its peoples.
We make this call to remain true to our Founders and to continue their life’s work to champion the cause of freedom and democracy for our people. It is for these that they were “prepared to die”.
History will judge the ANC leadership harshly if it fails to take the decisions that will restore the trust and confidence of the people of South Africa. In the true spirit of our Founders we offer our experience and expertise in any manner that might assist in facilitating a critical process of dialogue in which South Africans can find one another in the restoration of visionary cohesion and nation-building at this hour of need. Our doors are open!
Dr Frene Ginwala
Acting Chairperson of the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation
Prof Njabulo S Ndebele
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Nelson Mandela Foundation
Mr. Derek Hanekom
On behalf of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation
Former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan says the time has come for the so-called ‘rotten forces’ within the movement to accept defeat and step aside.
Last week, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas confirmed that he had refused an offer from the Gupta family, who were allegedly offering him a ministerial post.
To read the deputy minister's full statement, click here.
The Guptas denied the meeting took place, and have accused the respected politician of trying to score points.
In response, opposition parties vowed to lay criminal charges in reaction to the scandal.
Hogan said she's encouraged by the firm stance taken against state capture.
The former minister has been outspoken against the perceived influence of the Gupta family.
She said people that have benefitted from having a close relationship with the Guptas are now on the back foot.
“The rotten forces are on the back foot. I would appeal to those people who believe that they still have to defend Zuma and who have benefitted from a close relationship with the Guptas, to now stand back and move on. They are not going to win this battle.”
Hogan confirmed that she came under much pressure to meet with a Gupta family linked airline over its business interests, but says she refused.
She said she's not surprised by the claims by former ANC Member of Parliament (MP) Vytjie Mentor, that she was offered the position on condition that she make a favourable business decision for the Guptas.
Mentor said she was told she would be appointed as Hogan’s successor if she agreed to drop the South African Airways (SAA) flight route to India, which would be taken over by the Gupta linked Jet Airways.
Hogan added that there have been talks of secret meetings with the Guptas for years.
(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)
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