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Gosebo Mathope
3 minute read
12 Dec 2017
12:00 pm

Inside the doc Mantashe asked provinces to prioritise for the ANC to remain in power

Gosebo Mathope

The document sets out the kind of qualities branch members should have looked for when nominating for leadership positions.

ANC's 'Through the Eye of the Needle' document.

One of the most talked-about documents considered by branch members during branch general meetings (BGM) where nominations for the top six and national executive committee (NEC) were made is a document called Through the Eye of a Needle.

This is a document Gwede Mantashe asked provinces to ensure was included in the BGM packs to guide cadres on the calibre of leadership to be nominated in order to ensure the ANC remains the governing party. Let’s take a look at some key elements that constitute this document.

“As a revolutionary organisation, the ANC needs revolutionary cadres and leaders,” it reads, and elaborates an ANC leader “should understand ANC policy and be able to apply it under all conditions”.

ANCYL President Colin Maine.

ANCYL President Colin Maine.

“Leaders should constantly seek to improve their capacity to serve the people; they should strive to be in touch with the people all the time, listen to their views and learn from them. Leaders should be accessible and flexible and not arrogate to themselves the status of being the source of all wisdom,” the criterion is outlined.

“A leader should win the confidence of the people in his/her day-to-day work. Where the situation demands, a leader should be firm; and have the courage to explain and seek to convince others of the correctness of decisions taken by constitutional structures even if such decisions are unpopular.

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“He/she should not seek to gain cheap popularity by avoiding difficult issues, making false promises or merely pandering to popular sentiment. Leaders should lead by example. They should be above reproach in their political and social conduct – as defined by our revolutionary morality,” branches are told.

“Through force of example, leaders should act as role models to ANC members and non-members alike. Leading a life that reflects commitment to the strategic goals of the NDR [National Democratic Revolution] includes not only being free of corrupt practices, but also means actively fighting against corruption,” the section on corruption reads.

ANC Women's League President Bathabile Dlamini

ANC Women’s League President Bathabile Dlamini

The documents also indicates: “There are no readymade leaders,” as leaders evolve out of battles for social transformation.

It warns: “In these battles, cadres will stumble, and some will fall. But the abiding quality of leadership is to learn from mistakes, to appreciate one’s weaknesses and correct them.”

“A leader should seek to influence and to be influenced by others in the collective. He/she should have the conviction to state his/her views boldly and openly within constitutional structures of the movement; and – without being disrespectful – not to cower before those in more senior positions in pursuit of patronage, nor to rely on cliques to maintain one’s position.

“An individual with qualities of leadership does not seek to gain popularity by undermining those in positions of responsibility. Where such a member has a view on how to improve things or correct mistakes, he/she should state those views in constitutional structures and seek to win others to his/her own thinking,” members are reminded.

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