Press release Dated: Thursday 4th January 2018 Subject:
The ANC and the January 8th Statement RECLAIMING OUR HISTORY, FOR THE SAKE OF OUR FUTURE
This press release has been prepared by the ANC stalwarts and veterans (the stalwarts) who are signatories to the document “For the Sake of our Future” https://sakeofourfuture.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Sake-of-Our-FutureFounding-Document.pdf in October 2016.
The signatories also facilitated the recent National Consultative Conference on the ANC in November 2017. The declaration of that conference can be found at https://sakeofourfuture.co.za/wpcontent/uploads/2017/12/Declaration-of-the-NCC-on-the-ANC-2017-1.pdf
The ANC and the January 8th Statement
The history of the January 8th Statement stretches back to Bloemfontein on January 8th, 1912, a full 106 years ago.
Last year’s statement was made by the then African National Congress (ANC) President, Comrade Zuma on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC and 2017 was declared “the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Let us deepen unity”.
The January 8th statement of 2017 was encouraging; “The ANC must be a listening and humble organisation”; the message of the electorate in the local government elections had been heard; the promotion of ethics in the public services; the rooting out of corruption within the public and private sectors of the economy and ANC; a commitment to learning from the mistakes of the recent past; stamping out gatekeeping, ill-discipline, factionalism, the buying of members and the manipulation of internal democratic processes. Members of the ANC were called upon “to be exemplary in their conduct and lifestyle.
We expect our cadres to emulate comrade OR Tambo and live a life of humility, integrity and selfless service to the people”. On the 13th of January 2018, a new President of the ANC, Comrade Ramaphosa will make the January 8th Statement on behalf of the NEC. As stalwarts, we believe that we cannot have another year of paralysis within the ANC, government and the economy, where commitments are not met. As always it will be the historically disadvantaged, the poor and marginalised that will suffer the most. It will also mean the ANC will be punished in the elections of 2019, especially, although not exclusively in urban areas.
As stalwarts, we believe 2018’s January 8th Statement will be well crafted and the majority of our people will be able to identify with this statement of intent.
Our concern is simple, our people cannot eat words.
The incoming NEC must deliver and be seen to deliver on every aspect of the statement, something the outgoing NEC failed to do. At December’s ANC National Conference, there was wide ranging and positive discussions on priorities within the ANC.
As stalwarts we were pleased to note that these included the need for a real scrutiny of the suitability of the present elected leadership, at all levels of our movement. It is hoped that the NEC, at their meeting on the 10th January ensure that the integrity committee of the ANC, whose decisions were sadly ignored in 2017, are given new powers. This should ensure the original intentions of the NEC’s 2013 decision to hold leadership accountable and that the integrity of the ANC is not compromised, finally become a reality.
As stalwarts we have long called for the ANC to become a professional and modern party.
We support the call for the NEC to set up an effective committee to fast track this. We wish to see serious consideration of one member, one vote, for ANC elections at a provincial and national level and the urgent introduction of an effective membership system.
This should go a long way towards overcoming the manipulation of voting, as described in the 2017 January 8th Statement.
Since October 2016 we have called for a National Consultative Conference (NCC) of the ANC, sadly the NEC was unable to reach a consensus and accept this proposal. In November 2017 we initiated a conference and were joined by many senior comrades from past and present NEC’s, Provinces, the Alliance and on the first day civil society, to discuss the challenges the ANC faces and possible solutions. We are pleased that the ANC Veterans League has taken up the call for the incoming NEC to formally initiate an all inclusive NCC in early 2018. If our leadership pretends that principled unity can be built without honestly confronting the challenges within the ANC, the electorate will continue to do what was done in 2016, until it is too late for the ANC to restore the trust our communities have historically given us.
The NEC’s meeting on the 10th January and the January 8th Statement on the 13th, should be an important turning point within our movement. END
For the Sake of our Future: Background
The late Comrade Kathrada was the first signatory of the document “For the Sake of our Future” and we remain honoured by the continued presence and support of Comrades Denis Goldberg and Andrew Mlangeni. As stalwarts, we count amongst us those who knew and worked with OR Tambo; were part of those who led the struggle against apartheid, spent their time at the “schools” on Robben Island and other prisons throughout the country; were the class of ’76; in the leadership, or loyal solders of Umkhonto we Sizwe; part of the internal underground; leaders and members of the UDF; members of the Alliance and progressive organisations.
During the fight against apartheid we worked in secrecy to avoid arrest, imprisonment, torture or death. That secrecy is no longer necessary and we must now create an open democratic party, fit for purpose.
Today, secrecy only feeds unacceptable behaviours, factions, slates and deals that have no place in a democratic party of the future. As stalwarts, we have been and remain loyal members of the ANC for many decades.
Our objective is to continue to serve all the people of South Africa and ensure the historical values and principles of the ANC are restored. As stalwarts, we feel a profound responsibility to the movement and the country, to ensure that the principles and values of the ANC are not destroyed.
We believe that the overwhelming majority of our citizens embrace the values of the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of our country.
We would like to believe that we speak on behalf of all members of the ANC who reject state capture and any form of corruption; want to see the realization of our potential as a nation and who are committed to the elimination of poverty and the unacceptably high levels of inequality.
NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE ON THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
17 – 19TH NOVEMBER 2017
SAVING THE ANC FOR THE SAKE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FUTURE
WE HAVE COME TOGETHER IN THIS NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE
As national representatives of Stalwarts and Veterans of the African National Congress and MK Council together with our fraternal organisations, SANCO, COSATU, SACP and ANC Veterans League as well as our allies from the Strategic Dialogue Group and taking into account the concerns from Civil Society, are all united by our love and concerns for our country South Africa and the African National Congress.
We are profoundly committed to the ANC, proud of its role in the achievement of our democracy and in the progress towards meeting our people’s aspirations as embodied in the Freedom Charter.
We are deeply troubled by the abandonment of the ANC’s historic values and principles, which has undermined popular confidence in government, parliament, state owned entities and other public institutions. This is an unprecedented political crisis.
We are also deeply hurt by what we regard to be a betrayal of our people’s long- standing support and trust in the ANC.
We observe that the current elected leadership of the ANC is paralysed and unable to deal with ill-discipline, incompetence and corruption that point directly to the highest office in the land.
We further observe that parliament and the executive, led by the President has been found to have failed in their constitutional obligations by the highest court of the land.
We are deeply disturbed by the leadership’s disdain for co-operation with relevant community-based organisations, thus relinquishing the ANC’s leadership of society.
The mismanagement of our economy has led to unprecedented unemployment rates. This has exacerbated the levels of poverty amongst the masses of our people. Women, the marginalised in our society, in particular the youth have suffered immensely from the full brunt of the leadership’s reckless decisions and indecisiveness.
The appalling state of the nation’s education system at all levels continues to promote marginalization of significant sections of our society especially our youth, which is destroying the lives of future generations.
The increased crime rates and the deplorable insecurity within our vulnerable communities in the background of the corrupted and dysfunctional policing and prosecution services together with unrelenting and dehumanizing gender violence, leaves a sore eye to witness.
We are witness to the moral degeneration in society that is overseen by a self- centred, non-caring leadership that lacks honesty, integrity and a vision for the future.
WE HAVE SEEN THE LEADERSHIP CRISIS IN THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CAUSE IMMENSE DAMAGE TO THE COUNTRY, AS A RESULT OF:
• The systematic looting of public resources by elected representatives and public servants to the detriment of social cohesion.
• The unparalleled capture of state institutions for factional and corrupt purposes.
• The marginalisation of many competent and honest leaders and officials who sought to protect the country from such dishonourable practices.
• Many deplorable instances of assassinations and other forms of violence relating to political infighting and acts of criminality;
• The systematic erosion of the State’s ability to carry out its constitutional mandate of delivering services to our people;
• The failure to implement the transformative social and economic programmes aimed at improving the lives of our people.
• Diminishing the stature and reputation of South Africa and the African National Congress in the eyes of our people, the sister peoples on the African continent and the world at large.
WE HAVE SEEN THE CRISIS IN THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS WEAKEN OUR MOVEMENT AND PROMOTE DIVISIONS:
The ANC leadership has fallen prey to forces who seek to advance their own selfish and corrupt interests which is inconsistent with the values, policy positions and ethos in the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution;
• Membership of the ANC has come to be seen by some as a path to positions, personal power, privilege and licence to plunder the state resources.
• In government, some members of the ANC have failed to resist and combat actions that subvert the democratic state.
• The ANC-led Alliance is polarised, divided and weakened.
• The social distance between elected representatives and the people has
widened and support for the ANC has declined in recent elections.
• As many ANC branches have fallen prey to gate keeping, as a result of factions seeking political office to plunder public resources rather than to serve the people.
• Members who raise their voices in protest against the downward spiral of the ANC have often been threatened and marginalised.
• Our parliamentary caucus has been divided over mechanisms of enforcing accountability and for restoring the credibility of parliament.
In short, the ANC has relinquished its leadership of society and plunged itself into an untenable political crisis. This development represents a danger to all South Africans who love justice and who desire rapid progress towards a better life for all.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CAN AND MUST BE SAVED
We feel the pain of our people whose enthusiasm, trust and love for the ANC has been dampened.
We acknowledge that our failure to address these issues timeously has contributed towards the grave reputational damage, political and moral crisis facing our organisation and country.
We are however convinced that our movement, with a rigorous, serious and genuine introspection can self-correct and be rescued from its current crisis.
THIS NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE RECOGNISES THAT:
• Turning the ANC from its present destructive path will not be a simple matter.
• A programme of self-correction must build on the ANC’s historic values of
service, selflessness and integrity.
Self-correction will require sustained introspection, critical analysis and concerted action to restore the ANC’s credibility as a leader of society and a humble listening organization that is rooted amongst the masses of our people it seeks to lead.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE TO SAVE THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS AND SOUTH AFRICA
We are determined to work with many partners who share the historic vision of the ANC to build a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous nation.
We will not allow the ANC to die under our watch.
We believe, with our many years of commitment and contribution, we carry the wishes and authority of ordinary members of the ANC as well as the millions of our people.
We strongly affirm our belief that this historic National Consultative Conference can help to heal the ills currently afflicting the African National Congress.
We pledge to spread the message of this National Consultative Conference to our ANC branches its higher structures, the country and the world at large.
WE THEREFORE COMMIT TO CALL FOR THE FOLLOWING
A. THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS NEEDS ORGANIZATIONAL RENEWAL
1. The ANC Conference in December 2017, in accordance with rule 11.5 of the ANC Constitution, establishes a committee to design and develop a renewal document, For the Sake of our Future including a plan of action and oversee a thorough renewal of the ANC structures including the branches as follows amongst others:
• To assess and scrutinise the suitability of the elected leadership at all levels in line with the adopted documents, in particular “Through the Eye of the Needle”,
• Takes urgent and practical steps to professionalise and modernise the ANC with priority being given to the membership system;
• take full advantage of the advances in the information, communication technology and management sciences to continue to put in place a better membership system;
• communicate effectively with its membership, core constituency and society in general;
introduce progressive management methods in the running of the ANC;
• supervise the formulation of practical strategies to ensure that the ANC develops both human and material resources to fulfill its historic task to lead the continuing struggle for the all- round victory of the Democratic Revolution;
• promote a value system that obliges its members and those of its members who are in the State apparatus to serve in the interest of the people of South Africa;
• oppose all corrupt practices, including the abuse of power by all its members in the organization and all institutions of State to enrich themselves or individuals and/or corporations;
• must defeat the establishment of cliques and factions which subvert our united national effort to achieve the inclusive democratic transformation of South Africa in the realisation of the goals of shared prosperity, poverty eradication and reduction of inequality in a growing economy;
• work together with society for the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society;
• respect for and the strengthening of the institutions of the democratic State;
• continuous respect for and strengthening of democratic practices and therefore the rule of law;
2. The Integrity Commission must be an independent constitutional structure within the ANC with the capacity to act independently from and without the influence of the ANC NEC or any official, including the president of the organization. Implementation of its recommendations of the integrity commission. The integrity commission must submit its report directly to the NEC.
4. ThenumberofdeployedNECmembersingovernmentmustbecapped. 5. TheTripartiteAlliancemustberevitalized,strengthenedandrespected.
B. THE REVITALIZATION OF THE ECONOMY IS AN IMPERATIVE
1. Corruption must be rooted out from all levels of government and state owned companies – Eskom, SAA and SARS in particular.
2. A judicial enquiry must be urgently set up to investigate state capture and corruption that has served to undermine ANC and the culprits must be apprehended and prosecuted without unnecessary delays.
4. Hope and confidence in the South African economy must be restored by stakeholder engagement and embarking in an investment pact with business,
labour, communities and government.
C. OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY MUST BE DEFENDED
1. WemustworkwiththeCivilSocietytodefendtheconstitutionandrightsofall our citizens.
3. The president must be directly elected and her/his powers be moderated in
line with the prescripts of our country’s constitution.
D. THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM NEEDS REVIEW
1. An Electoral Review Commission must be established for the regular reviews of our electoral systems.
3. The ANC president and chairpersons at various levels must be directly
elected by one member one vote.
E. BUILDING A NON-RACIAL SOCIETY REMAINS A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE
1. Retrogressive tendencies of ethnicity, tribalism, racism and all forms of discrimination must be outlawed and resisted.
2. Education and economic equity must be ensured as they restore dignity and respect and enhance racial harmony.
3. ANC as a progressive organization must promote, enrich and educate all sectors of our society on non-racialism.
F. CIVIL SOCIETY IS AN ALLY
1. The ANC must view and treat Civil Society as a natural ally for the enhancement of nation building and service delivery.
3. Together with Civil Society corruption and current attempts to acquire nuclear
power must be rejected and resisted.
THIS NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE FURTHERMORE
1. Calls on all women and men of honour and integrity within the ANC and government to stand up against all forms of corruption, expose, reject and isolate the dishonest elements that seek to undermine and destroy our organisation, government and our reputation.
2. Calls for an open and fair election of the new ANC national leadership at the forthcoming December 2017 elective conference that will be committed to stamping out corruption and state capture with immediate effect.
3. A principled new leadership will be expected to heed a call for an urgent, all- inclusive conference that will get a process underway of correcting the wrongs within the ANC through an intense and fundamental organisational renewal into a truly modern organisation that will be adequately fit for purpose and responsive to the challenges of our times.
4. Calls upon President Zuma, for the sake of our future, to resign with immediate effect because he has let the ANC, our people and country down.
Andre ZAAIMAN’s most recent position in Government (2014) was as an Advisor to Minister Lindiwe SISULU – then the Minister of Public Service and Administration in South Africa. He currently teaches and trains South African, African and UN personnel in early warning, strategic intelligence analysis and complexity as the Research & Innovation Director of the African Center for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIP).
He previously served in the Presidential Support Unit that advised President Thabo MBEKI on issues of conflict in Africa and the Middle East and in senior positions in the Secret Service, National Intelligence Agency and the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC) until he left Government in 2008.
He was a member of a five-person strategic Think Tank of Prime Minister Meles ZENAWI in Ethiopia from 2008 until his passing in 2012. It assisted the Prime Minister on developmental and diplomatic-security issues in Ethiopia and the region.
As the founding Director of the Goree Institute in Senegal, West-Africa – established following the 1987 meeting between a senior delegation of Afrikaners lead by Frederik VAN ZYL SLABBERT and a senior delegation of the then banned and exiled ANC lead by Thabo MBEKI – he worked across the African continent in both urban and rural settings, building the capabilities of public and civic organizations for self-reliance. He is co-author of the book “Managing towards self-reliance: organizational effectiveness in Africa”. He worked for nine years with President Abdou DIOUF when he was President of Senegal, on political dialogue, peace and Pan-African issues.
Andre was an activist in the anti-apartheid struggle and as a member of then banned and exiled ANC underground, was responsible for amongst other things, successfully gathering and interpreting intelligence and evidence on the secret death squads of the apartheid regime. His work as part of an ANC intelligence unit, included the covert exfiltration and first debriefings of Vlakplaas death squad commander Dirk Coetzee and several other members of both the Police and the old SADF Reconnaissance Commando in order to gather both evidence and intelligence.
As a staff-researcher he contributed a chapter in the book “Pursuing Peace and Justice in South Africa” by H.W. van der MERWE (1988); then Director of the Center for Intergroup Studies at UCT, and a Quaker pioneer that hosted the first meeting between Steve BIKO and Afrikaner student leaders in the 1970’s.
Andre was one of the organizers of the first public stand against military Conscription as part of the UDF-aligned End Conscription Campaign and the South African Objector Movement. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, he worked in one of the three secret tracks that lead to the democratic transition in South Africa. He lead many delegations – business leaders, political leaders, academics, intellectuals, youth and student leaders – in the 1980’s to the Southern African Frontline States to meet with Frelimo, Swapo, ZANU and the ANC in Lusaka; then banned and exiled. He spent time with the EPLF (Eritrea) and EPRDF (Ethiopia) during their struggles in the Horn of Africa in the early 1990’s and trained the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq in strategic intelligence analysis. He studied at University of the Free State in the 1980s until he was prohibited from further studies because of his political activities. He is pursuing a PhD in information and intelligence studies at Stellenbosch University. With two other specialists, he developed an intelligent-machine, early warning system for the detection and prevention of anti-biotic resistant nosocomial infections in Hospitals, which is currently being tested in a major private Hospital in Cape Town.
Later this year he will head back to West Africa for an extended Research Sabbatical in Senegal, the islands off the coast of Brazil, Polynesia and the Santa Fe Institute for Complexity in the USA, and then to China.
His life story was featured in several documentaries including “EAT MY CALL-UP” directed by Naashon ZALK which tells the story of four men who – facing lengthy jail terms and a potential charge of treason punishable by a death sentence – refused to “serve” in the South African Defense Force (SADF) in the 1980’s.