/ 16 December 2012

Corruption proposal used to get N Cape’s Block

Northern Cape ANC chairperson John Block.
Northern Cape ANC chairperson John Block.

ANC Northern Cape members opposing provincial chairperson John Block are supporting a constitutional amendment proposal that will see members accused of corruption being immediately suspended from the party.

This is one of constitutional amendments the ANC is due to discuss at its conference underway in Mangaung. Gauteng also supports the proposal. 

If this proposal is adopted, Block might be removed from his position as ANC chair in that province because of corruption charges he’s facing. Block has been charged with corruption related to the manipulation of tenders in his province. 

The corruption-fighting proposal is one of those punted as part of the organisational renewal strategy. Currently the ANC’s position is that its members charged of corruption remain innocent until proven guilty. This has seen many of its leaders remaining at the helm while answering to the court, including the party’s president Jacob Zuma.  

A Northern Cape delegate, who did not want to be named, told the Mail & Guardian that the majority of provincial delegates wanted the proposal to be adopted.

For us it [the proposal] means absolute freedom in the Northern Cape,” said the delegate. “So much was done in the province to defend him [Block].”

Delegates will know from Wednesday which resolutions are being adopted by conference and the delegate said Northern Cape members are “eagerly anticipating” success for the proposal.

He accused the Northern Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) under Block of “muzzling branches and manipulating processes. Now there'll be genuine voices emanating from branches."

An organisational renewal document adopted by the June policy conference proposed that ANC members who are found guilty of wrongdoing in other institutions of society should also be subjected to internal disciplinary processes.

“This will send an unambiguous message in society that the ANC does not tolerate any wrongdoing, including corruption, among its members,” the document said.

Resolutions adopted at this conference will be implemented over the next five years by a national executive committee that is expexted to be elected in Mangaung.