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Ramaphosa urges ANC members to think about calibre of leaders they want

President Cyril Ramaphosa said, 'We must be able to show all and sundry that we are putting the interests of our people ahead of our own personal interest.' File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said, 'We must be able to show all and sundry that we are putting the interests of our people ahead of our own personal interest.' File photo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged ANC members in the Eastern Cape to discuss the calibre of people they want to occupy leadership positions in the organisation.

He said it was important for the ANC to demonstrate to South Africans who have suspicions about the party's integrity and the moral standing of its leaders that it was a transforming organisation that was able to critique itself. 

Ramaphosa was delivering closing remarks to the provincial ANC’s elective conference which was held in East London at the weekend. 

The conference re-elected Oscar Mabuyane as its provincial chair, defeating his friend and former close ally Babalo Madikizela to retain the position.

“Let us have a broader discussion about what qualifies an ANC member to be a leader of our movement. The time has come for us to develop more explicit rules about the types of conduct that disqualifies a person from becoming a leader of the movement,” he said.

He said ANC leaders have to be the most advanced cadres of the movement and have to be exemplary in their conduct, in their integrity and in their commitment to the ordinary people’s cause.

“As membership we should also demonstrate to our people that the view and the suspicions they’ve had of the ANC are completely different to what we are. We must demonstrate that we are the leader of society, committed against corruption and that we are an organisation of great integrity.

“We must be able to show all and sundry that we are putting the interests of our people ahead of our own personal interest,” he said.

He referred to the resolutions of the 2017 national conference where he was elected party president, saying that gathering tasked party members to shore up their capacity, identify and correct their weaknesses and revitalise the party’s public image.

“The Nasrec conference explicitly said that we cannot just issue bland reassurances that are then negated by the very conduct of the leaders and members.”

He said this worsened the decline of the ANC.

“Ill-discipline, factionalism and other deviant tendencies continue to plague our movement. This movement must be principled and be more decisive in dealing with instances of ill-discipline, divisions and other ills that bedevil organisational ethos and processes,” he said.

Ramaphosa’s comments come at a time where ANC regions and provinces have nominated and elected leaders who are facing serious criminal charges including murder, attempted murder and graft.

The party has been dilly-dallying on the implementation of its step-aside resolution which is aimed at members who are indicted.

Ramaphosa said if the ANC could focus on this transformation, it would have an easier time at the national and general polls, come 2024. The Eastern Cape is one of those provinces where the ANC overwhelms other parties at the polls. 

“Our people want an ANC that has integrity, an ANC that is going to serve the people of SA because as they look around they find that there is no other that can serve the people of the country like the ANC,” he said.

He tasked the newly elected leadership of the party and the delegates who attended the conference to continue uniting, renewing and rebuilding the ANC for a stronger province.

“It is important that we renew and rebuild our organisation to equip the movement to better adapt and respond to the changing world and to the challenges that face us,” he said.

He congratulated the Eastern Cape ANC for avoiding a repeat of the violent conference it had in 2017, where warring factions tossed chairs at each other.

The conference, which was behind schedule by more than 24 hours, deferred policy decisions to a provincial general council to be held later this year.


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