Friday, August 27, 2010

ANC Deputy President Warns Youth League Against 'Toxic' Slates

Motlanthe warns ANCYL against 'toxic' slates

Aug 27 2010 17:05

The practice of voting on the basis of "slates" -- or lists of candidates standing for election, aligned to specific factions -- is toxic and has to be rooted out, ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.

"If you were put on a slate then ... you are accountable to campaign managers.

"This matter of slates is a malaise we must pull out roots and all and throw away from the organisation," he told the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) national general council (NGC) meeting.

The practice sees candidates voted into specific positions because they are aligned to specific factions.

At the ANC's 2007 Polokwane elective conference, the two slates were candidates aligned to ANC president Jacob Zuma and those aligned to former ANC president Thabo Mbeki.

Motlanthe was on the Zuma list, beating Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was part of the Mbeki slate. This placed him in his current position.

"When you elect on the basis of slates, you essentially take away the right of the delegate to elect, and essentially, you are flouting the internal processes of the ANC.

"And if you do that, the toxicity will reflect in the product, because, see, you contaminate the process and it will produce contaminated outcomes," Motlanthe warned.

"The organisation will be weakened by that, because it's important for the ANC's internal democratic processes to be without contamination, and only then will the ANC be able to lead.

"There is no way we corrupt our internal democratic processes and be democratic outside of the ANC in broader society," he said.

Motlanthe is not the first ANC leader to warn that slates are a danger to the ruling party.


ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete also highlighted the threat it posed at the party's Gauteng elective conference earlier this year, where former premier Paul Mashatile was elected to lead the province.

Motlanthe said he knew the ANCYL was also not immune to the "malaise".

"Let us rid ourselves of this malaise of the slates. Once you follow sweeteners ... then you are compromised ... and if you are compromised, you stay compromised. In the movement, never, ever allow yourself to be compromised."

The ANC deputy president, who traded a long white goatee for a much shorter, more refined one for his government role, also urged the next generation of ANC leaders to be loyal to the organisation.

"... Learn to be loyal to the organisations to which you belong ... we must be loyal to each one of them."

He added this was the only way the alliance would survive -- even when "obituaries" were being written about it.

"When that time comes [obituaries being written about the alliance], they must find that the alliance is still alive and kicking, because you are loyal to all these formations and you don't allow any one of them to be ended," he said.

Strained relations

His comments followed strained relations between the ANC and its alliance partners, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)and the South African Communist Party.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Thursday described the alliance as "dysfunctional".

Motlanthe urged the league to "internalise" the "lesson" on loyalty.

The almost 2 500 delegates at the NGC listened attentively to the deputy president, applauding when his remarks struck a chord with them.

After he spoke, media were ushered out of the venue as a closed session commenced.

The delegates were expected to debate ANCYL secretary general Vuyiswa Tulelo's report, as well as that of treasurer general Pule Mabe.

Before leaving the venue, a small group of delegates brandished placards at the media, which stated their support for ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and ANCYL deputy president Andile Lungisa.

The league's leadership and some provinces want to see Mantashe replaced with Deputy Police Minister and former ANCYL president Fikile Mbalula.

There was also a motion of no confidence against Lungisa, which is set to be debated and a decision on his political future taken later on Friday. -- Sapa

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
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