The ANC’s continued infighting will soon destroy the governing party if its leadership fails to address the culture of factionalism among leaders and members.
This is the stern warning from the ANC’s integrity commission, which accused some of the highest ranking leaders within the party of fuelling factional divisions.
In its report - seen by Independent Media - which was sent to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule late last month, and which the party was scheduled to deliberate on at its national executive committee meeting on Tuesday this week, commission chairperson George Mashamba said internal animosity has led to mistrust, assassinations, suspicions about the integrity of organisational processes and declining credibility of the ANC in the public eye.
“The disputes between different groupings within the ANC dominate the public discourse and the narrative about these disputes is carried forward by international news agencies and portrays the ANC at war with itself.
“The ANC’s lack of success in dealing with these matters is leading to political assassinations, comrades resorting to court to resolve disputes and eventually will lead to the demise of the ANC,” he said.
The report concerned the 22 ANC leaders who were flagged over allegations of wrongdoing and who were subsequently asked to present themselves before the commission.
Mashamba said the interviewing process of 17 leaders who eventually did present themselves to be questioned was dominated by ANC factional divisions.
“These factions are being fuelled actively by some at the very highest echelons of the leadership of the ANC. The factions are also self-perpetuating. Some comrades spoke of how their dignity had been impaired.
“Others pointed to being sabotaged in government by fellow NEC members,” Mashamba said.
The commission pointed out that many members of the ANC’s top brass had not internalised the resolutions of the party’s 2017 national conference at Nasrec, where it called for the renewal of the party and the forging of internal unity.
The commission stressed that it was the responsibility of all ANC leaders to acquaint himself or herself with the Nasrec resolutions, including the one that said they must voluntarily and immediately account to the commission when allegations against them are reported.
“It is also necessary to initiate, encourage and support a culture of comrades voluntarily stepping aside in the interest of the ANC when facing damaging allegations,” Mashamba said.
Some of those who appeared before the commission, including Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association president Kebby Maphatsoe, have accused the commission of being factional in how it asked questions.
In its report, the commission said it had posed two questions to each ANC leader who appeared before it.
The leaders were asked why they had failed to immediately account to the commission when allegations against them were in the public domain and whether, in their opinion, those allegations had harmed the ANC.
Mashamba also complained about how Magashule’s office was sitting on the commission’s reports and correspondence.
“Based on the experience of the commission, of correspondence not being acknowledged or replied to, reports not being processed, and so forth, it will be necessary to examine and review the functioning of the office of the secretary-general, which is the engine of the organisation,” he said.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe had not responded to questions by the time of going to print.