In defense of the heart and soul of the ANC

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By Tony Yengeni
Since the advent of democracy, there has been a disturbing discernable trend within the Liberation movement to seek to usurp the constitutional structures of the ANC and to redefine their constitutional mandate. The intention is to divert these structures from their stated constitutional mandate for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with the historical objectives of the Liberation Movement.
Clearly, the main intention is to take control of the ANC structures in order to take control of its government. This includes control of all state institutions and legislatures at all levels. The plot is to ensure that when you have all your factional cadres in key positions you can then do as you wish.
Your factional cadres are expected to carry out your instructions. In such a scenario the correctness of such instructions matters little. It does not even matter whether they will end up hurting the ANC.
The ANC’s age-old and noble objectives are then easily replaced by factional objectives to serve the interests of a tiny minority that is in control of all key levers of power both in the ANC and state. We have seen this phenomenon creeping in how major decisions are taken.
Historically the ANC’s highest decision body is its national conference constituted by its branches. The conference decides on the policy direction the ANC will take in the next five years. It also elects its national executive that will take all important decisions for that same period. In terms of the ANC constitution, the decisions taken by the national conference are sacrosanct and final.
No structure or leader of the ANC can change its decisions except the next national conference. Conference decisions and resolutions are binding to all and have to be implemented by all structures. To add to this and as a way of ensuring implementation of conference resolutions, the ANC resolved to have a National General Council in the middle of every NEC term.
The overriding intention of that NGC is to convene a meeting of ANC branches to assess how far the ANC has gone in implementing its previous conference resolutions. This was to ensure that the ANC sticks to the path charted out by the previous national conference and does not lose track. And to make certain that the leadership remains true to the mandate given to them by the branches when they were elected.
Generations before us have stuck religiously to the above precepts and practices and this is essentially how the ANC has survived and grown in the last 100 years. Yet some in today’s generation seem to be wanting that key component and a building block of the ANC be tempered with.
Allowing this to happen is tantamount to dismantling the ANC. The movement will then be replaced by money wielding members and leaders whose main mission is to take over the ANC and control all its structures at all levels through the use of money. The floodgates will be wide open for the complete take over of this shield and spear which was created by masses for their own offense and defence in their struggle against apartheid colonialism.
Many have not taken this lying down. In many meetings, they have asked ourselves where is this money coming from. This question must be answered because if we follow the money, we are likely to get to the bottom of this scourge by exposing the real funders and buyers of our branches and their intentions. I am convinced that when we do finally get to the bottom of this we will discover without a doubt that in fact, the very enemy that we have been fighting against for the last 100 years is the same funder and-buyer of our branches.
So it becomes extremely urgent and crucial to expose and destroy this curse and claim and reclaim our ANC back to its roots and branches. When that situation happens then the constitutional structures will operate normally according to and in line with the ANC constitution. When the leadership begins to abide by the mandate given to them by the branches in a national conference and implement that mandate through the implementation of conference resolutions, the ANC will grow to unite and live longer for another 100 years.
However, if the ANC is left to the power-hungry designs of the money merchants, it will shrink and be divided. Its death will be final and certain as it would now be in the hands of those who would have abandoned its historical mandate. These would have denounced the rich history of struggle by generations of men and women who laid down their lives for political and economic freedom and national independence in their lifetime.
The masses have no choice but to fight in the same way they fought against the Apartheid system to claim and reclaim their glorious Movement and continue the struggle for the total emancipation of all South Africans from the yoke of poverty, landlessness, joblessness, and starvation. The ANC must live longer to lead that struggle.