The ANC has found itself having to talk tough on corruption over the past couple of weeks.
- A group of ANC MK veterans known as the MK council expressed dismay at the state of the organisation, saying it was on a downward spiral.
- The MK council says while it supports Ramaphosa’s letter on corruption and calls for implicated parties to step aside, there’s barely been any action in that regard.
- It also says it has no confidence in Tony Yegeni’s capabilities as chair of the subcommittee on peace and security.
The MK council, made up of former generals and commissars of the ANC’s liberation army uMkhonto we Sizwe, warned that the ANC was now firmly on a downward spiral and taking the country down with it.
The structure, which was launched in 2016 ahead of the Nasrec elective conference, expressed support for the country and party president Cyril Ramaphosa’s letter that called the ANC “corruption accused number one” – it, however, decried the lack of action in that regard.
“We must also point out that we are shocked and disturbed that instead of witnessing action supporting the spirit of the decisions of the ANC NEC (national executive committee) regarding that letter, we see no movement, except a clear indication of defiance by those leaders who have to lead by example,” said the MK council’s secretary-general Gregory Nthatisi.
Nthatisi called out the likes of MP Bongani Bongo and former Ethekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who was now in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, for remaining in their respective roles in spite of an NEC decision calling for those facing serious and corruption charges to step aside.
He also expressed disappointment in the NEC’s handling of Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa’s matter and the re-appointment of ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza and deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani.
Lungisa was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after throwing a jug at DA councillor Rano Kayser’s head during a brawl in the metro’s council in October 2016.
While the pair in Limpopo had “stepped aside” after being implicated in widespread looting that led to the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank, they were reinstated following two years of non-action against them by law enforcement authorities.
“While the courts cleared them, the Integrity Committee has not done so. As an institution tasked with the upkeep of the ANC’s values, we believe it should be given priority to relook into their case before they were reinstated in their leadership positions,” said Nthatisi.
The council also hit out at party heavyweight Tony Yengeni, saying they did not feel he was fit to lead the project of uniting the warring MK factions or to continue as chair of the party’s subcommittee on peace and stability.
Yengeni last month, suggested during a national working committee, that Ramaphosa should consider stepping down.
“So far, comrade Tony Yengeni has proved himself either incapable of leading that project or deliberately flip-flopping it because of his partiality,” said Nthatisi
They accused Yengeni of addressing gatherings of a faction known as RET (radical economic transformation), which had been backing ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma, while consistently attacking Ramaphosa and his efforts as leader of the party.
Nthatisi said Yengeni also failed to act against MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe and the association which released its own statements and held media briefings.
Last month the MKMVA called for a dissolution of Ramaphosa’s NEC, calling it paralysed.
Nthatisi said the agreement in the project to unite the MK council and the MKMVA was that neither of the warring groups could make public pronouncements outside of agreed-upon protocols.
“We are perplexed and shocked by his kind of leadership. I should call it a betrayal to a cause he himself had started,” said Nthatisi
The former MK commissar said the council had communicated its concerns formally with Yengeni, saying he had been very strong when he was still part of the council looking to rid the ANC of the things that were wrong in the organisation.
“The ANC is suffering and we must make sure it doesn’t go to the doldrums of history,” said Nthatisi.
Like they had done previously, the former MK leaders said they could no longer stand back.
Ike Moroe, another council member and former adviser to Magashule, said the ANC couldn’t pursue unity forever with people who did not want to see the former liberation movement united.
“If they say anyone of us must leave the ANC, we’ll leave the ANC, so that the ANC can breathe. If there are those who feel they cannot submit and subject to the values and principles of the ANC, indeed, they must go and that is not fracturing the ANC,” said Moroe.
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