ANC increasingly seems like an organisation at war with itself - Ramaphosa

The ANC president has conceded at the three-day virtual gathering of the NEC that unity remained elusive for the party, with divisions being most pronounced amongst the party’s leadership.

FILE: ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said the governing party was increasingly appearing like an organisation at war with itself.

Ramaphosa made public the political overview he delivered at the ANC’s last national executive committee (NEC) meeting for the year in an unprecedented move.

“We increasingly appear like an organisation at war with itself,” he said. “We need to ask ourselves whether we are still committed to the mandate we were given by the conference to unite and renew the movement.”

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He conceded at the three-day virtual gathering that unity remained elusive for the ANC, with divisions being most pronounced amongst the party’s leadership

The party is expected to reach some decision over the resolution calling for members implicated in serious crimes to step aside. This as its own secretary-general Ace Magashule has been charged for corruption.

Ramaphosa, in dealing with the issue of corruption, said party members could not turn a blind eye when their own comrades undermined the ANC’s ideals.

"Unity is not about closing ranks; it is not about accommodating or condoning corruption, wrongdoing or ill-discipline.

"Unity cannot be used as an excuse to turn a blind eye when some among us undermine and denigrate the revolutionary ideals of our struggle.

"Many of the challenges we now face are due to the lack of a common and coherent approach to the measures we must take to address allegations of corruption and other serious crimes against leaders and cadres of our movement.

"We have a direct instruction from the 54th National Conference to renew our organisation and clear resolutions on rebuilding the integrity and credibility of our movement."

He also shared his thoughts on legal opinions being sought over the resolution.

"In the documentation for this NEC, we are provided with no fewer than five legal opinions on the implementation of our so-called ‘stepping aside’ resolution.

"I am certain that there are none among of us who ever would have thought that the deliberations of the national executive committee would have come to this.

"As members of a voluntary organisation, we are all bound by our constitution, by the resolutions of our conferences and by the decisions of our structures.

"In addition, as revolutionaries, we are also bound by a political consciousness that is founded on our commitment to the cause of freedom for all the people of South Africa.

"It is this consciousness that calls on us to be selfless, to make sacrifices in the service of our people, to always act with integrity and honesty, and to place the interests of the collective above narrow personal interests.

"It is this consciousness that causes us to abide by the rules of our movement and to respect the decisions of its structures. As leaders, it should be what drives our actions and informs our decisions.

"We have sought these legal opinions and they may assist us in clarifying what is not certain to some among us."

Tuesday marks the final day of the NEC meeting.

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