[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Radebe to Lekota&"cronies": voetsek
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Fri Oct 3 04:43:32 BST 2008
ANC: Criticism amounts to notice of resignation
CAROL HILLS | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Oct 02 2008 18:27
ANC members' criticism of the party amounted to notice of their
resignation, its national executive committee said in reaction on
Thursday to a strongly worded letter from former defence minister
"Put bluntly, you and those who share your views are giving notice to
leave the ANC," Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, a member of the NEC,
wrote in a reply to Lekota's letter.
"For the record, the ANC is a voluntary association of individuals who
believe in it, and who [are] free to leave as and when they cease to do
so," Radebe said.
"History is full of examples of such individuals. In the majority of
cases, these were leaders who had grown too big for the ANC.
"These people could no longer subject themselves to the discipline of
the organisation. As such they either had to leave voluntarily or be
"We hope we have not reached that stage in your case," Radebe wrote.
In a "personal, open letter" to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on
Thursday, Lekota said the "unusual situation that has now arisen in the
African National Congress and the tripartite alliance requires
"I wish to place on record the concerns I see as gnawing away at the ANC
with the hope that the leadership might wake up to the dangers our
Lekota wrote that he joined the ANC attracted by its policies, political
culture, values, history and its commitment to the interests of the
country's people -- black and white -- and was still fervently committed
to this cause.
"However, for some time now, I have lived with a growing sense that our
leadership has veered the organisation away from the established policy
priorities and customary democratic norms of the ANC."
Lekota claimed that those who expressed views contrary to popular
opinion were later "hounded out" and "purged" from organisational and
state structures, contrary to the ANC's democratic culture.
"Sectoral and individual interests other than those flowing from the
people's interests as expressed in the Freedom Charter are elevated to
levels of national priority.
"This, we are expected to show up at criminal court cases or carry
shoulder-high individuals convicted of crimes unrelated to the demands
in the Freedom Charter."
Lekota said that instead of instilling respect for institutions of
democracy, ANC leaders issue threats that if judicial proceedings did
not result in "outcomes they prefer", the country would be brought to a
'Departure from the Freedom Charter'
"Lately, the leadership has taken a direct and unadulterated departure
from the Freedom Charter by calling for a political solution in the
matter of the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions versus the
president of the ANC.
"What happened to the Freedom Charter's promise that 'There shall be
equality before the law?' Or are we not to have political solutions to
every citizen's criminal case?" he asked.
Blatant threats to kill for certain individuals -- if desires other than
their own are not satisfied -- were made with impunity.
"When democracy-supporting institutions intervene to stop such
delinquent behaviour, more of our leaders come out in loud support for
threats to kill."
The list of these "excesses" and the "arrogance" which accompanied them
grew by the day, Lekota said.
"What resistance is put up by some in the ranks of members and leaders
is harshly suppressed into tame acquiescence."
He appealed to the ANC to reply to his concerns openly and frankly "so
that everyone can be assured that the deduction that I and many other
comrades have made, that the organisation is no longer pursuing the
original policies of the ANC, is incorrect".
Lekota said that if his concerns were not addressed to his satisfaction,
he reserved the right "to decide what I'm going to do with myself".
Mandated to respond by Mantashe, Radebe expressed "sadness" that Lekota
had chosen to communicate through the media, especially as he was well
versed in the movement's policies and traditions.
He noted that Lekota said in his letter that the present state of
affairs left him and "many other comrades" with a clear sense that their
membership of the ANC was "an endorsement of practices that are
dangerous to the democracy that many people in our country struggled to
bring into being".
In replying, Radebe reminded Lekota of the many comrades he had refused
permission to speak in the NEC, "abusing your position as chair, simply
because you disagreed with them".
"Insofar as conducting meetings, the NEC, was reduced to an animal farm,
where those who shared your views had a field day whilst the rest
banished to the twilight.
"The unlucky ones were subject to your verbal assaults, privately and
Radebe wrote that Lekota had presided over a "disrespectful discourse,
which insulted former president Nelson Mandela”.
“We challenge you to deny the fact that you did so Your individual and
sectoral interests prevailed upon you to officiate over such unwarranted
attack upon an old man who thought of you as his own son.
"As a brotherly advice we suggest you visit Madiba and apologise.
"Your behaviour and public utterances prior to the Polokwane conference
were, to say the least, un-ANC."
Referring to the high-court ruling which found the prosecution of ANC
president Jacob Zuma invalid, Radebe said: "We hope that all of us will
respect all institutions that serve our country without fear or favour".
To Lekota and "all your cronies", the ANC said that what they were
trying to demonstrate to the country was "nothing, but the last kicks of
a dying horse".
"Remember that the ANC as an institution will stay forever while
individuals like yourselves will go."
Radebe assure ANC members and the country at large that the ANC had not
deviated from its policies. - Sapa
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