Political school needed to elect proper leaders: ANC

Passing the required grade at the African National Congress’s (ANC) political school should be a minimum requirement for seeking office within the organisation, Gauteng Chairperson Paul Mashatile said on Saturday.

Speaking at the opening of the ANC’s Johannesburg regional elective conference, he said it was a proposal that he hoped the conference would adopt.

“Leadership should have gone through the political school ... We end up electing people who do not even know what the ANC is.”

His comments follow last weekend’s regional Tshwane conference which saw a factional Tshwane regional executive committee (REC) elected.

The Tshwane ANC region had been plagued by claims that ANC branches were being ignored.

Mashatile said the provincial executive committee (PEC) had decided to suspend those involved in creating the “parallel structures”.

“There are rules, there are duties and there are responsibilities. You don’t just have rights in the ANC, you have responsibilities.”

He warned members against “distributing documents” that had not been authorised by the ANC leadership. He did not mention which documents he was referring to.

In the run-up to last week’s Tshwane regional conference several press statements were issued by members of the rival group.

One statement claimed that the Tshwane conference had been cancelled and that the regional general council (RGC) of the ANC’s Tshwane branch faced disbandment amid “rampant violence and intimidation”.

Referring to the ANC leadership, Mashatile said it was not wrong to discuss who would lead the ANC after next year’s 53rd National Conference in Bloemfontein, but that there were no nominations as of yet and members should use ANC “channels”.

Such discussions, he said, should not appear in the media or on the social networking website Facebook.

Earlier, the party’s Johannesburg steering committee chairperson Louis Ramono said problems with membership needed to be addressed.

“Our approach to recruitment remains erratic. [There are] practices of gate-keeping, ghost members, commercialisation of membership, rent-a-member and other forms of fraudulent and manipulative practices that seek to influence the outcome of elective processes.”

Ramono said the yet to be elected REC would have to attend to the membership system.

The incoming REC, which is due to be elected this weekend, would have to “root out this un-ANC behaviour”, he said.—Sapa

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