The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) has reiterated the governing party’s “principled support” for the work of the Zondo commission into state capture, despite planned challenges to its findings by a number of party leaders.
Deputy Defence and Military Veterans minister Thabang Makwetla is the latest member of the ANC’s top brass to challenge the findings of the commission, which had also made adverse findings with regards to chairperson Gwede Mantashe and organising head Nomvula Mokonyane.
Mantashe has vowed to challenge the commission in court over its recommendation that the authorities investigate possible criminal charges against him for accepting security installations at his home supplied free of charge by facilities company Bosasa.
At a weekend media briefing, Makwetla called on the state to investigate “any possible malfeasance” he might have committed and to charge him if proof were found, saying that the commission had got things “horribly wrong” by ignoring evidence that he had declined an offer of free security from the company.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the NWC had affirmed its “principled support” for the commission, as it had done repeatedly since the body was endorsed by the party’s national conference at Nasrec in December 2017.
“The NWC reaffirmed that principled support, and noted what individual members of the ANC who have been mentioned in the report have said,” Mabe said. “That is their own right … It does not change the organisation’s position.”
Mabe said the ANC leaders were free to exercise their individual rights “as long as they are acting well within the parameters of the law”.
The ANC could not tell its members not to do so, nor would it abandon the position adopted by the party’s national conference and implemented by the national executive committee, Mabe said.
“A self-respecting organisation like the ANC must at all times appear to be loyal to its own resolutions. If it is not loyal to its own resolutions, how … are we going to be able to run an organisation?” he added.
Mabe said the party was pushing ahead with preparations for its regional and provincial conferences, which it aimed to complete before the combined national general council (NGC) and policy conference, which will be held in June or July in Johannesburg.
The NGC is normally held mid-term and the policy conference usually comes closer to the national conference, which sits every five years. This time, they will be held together because of time lost owing to Covid-19 regulations, which restricted physical gatherings.
Mabe said there would be no need to postpone the national conference, also to be held in Johannesburg, adding that preparatory committees were already at work.