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Pretoria - The ANC wants its public representatives in national, provincial and local government to sign a contract with the party that could lead to their being axed if they fail to honour it.
This is among far-reaching proposed changes to the ANC’s constitution that are to be discussed by delegates to its Mangaung conference.
Most proposed amendments to the constitution are aimed at closing loopholes and beefing up party discipline with tough sanctions for breaking its rules. A copy of the proposed contract forms part of a bulky document that suggests the changes to the constitution - and which has been distributed to members and delegates.
The proposed changes would result in any member, office-bearer or public representative facing disciplinary action if convicted in court of fraud, theft of money, corruption, money laundering, racketeering or any other “financial impropriety”.
Also, any breach of a “contract of deployment” - including failing, refusing or neglecting to carry out an instruction or mandate of the ANC parliamentary caucus - would result in disciplinary proceedings by a national officials committee.
This is viewed as being a direct response to those who defied the three-line whip compelling ANC MPs to vote in favour of the Protection of State Information Bill when it was passed in the National Assembly last year.
In what may be a rebuke of ANC members who represented former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema at his disciplinary case, charging or soliciting a fee for representing a charged member could also result in sanction.
Public representatives may be suspended and removed from any lists entitling them to represent the ANC at any level of government during disciplinary proceedings, and their contracts may be cancelled.
It is understood that the proposed amendments are the work of a six-member panel comprising Derek Hanekom, Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC chief prosecutor Uriel Abrahamse, Western Cape head of justice Hishaam Mohamed, and lawyers Krish Naidoo and Mathobela Sishuba.
The team have worked on the document over the past two months. Almost half of the proposals in the document are to be introduced for the first time on the first day of the national conference.
Another proposed amendment is that the national general council be recognised as a formal structure of the party, along with a national and provincial officials committee.
The ANC’s national working committee is to set up several committees - for political education and leadership development, organisation and mass mobilisation, information and publicity, governance, research, monitoring and evaluation, and international relations - that are to be headed by full-time staff.
The national conference begins on Sunday.