President Cyril Ramaphosa says the African National Congress (ANC) is within its rights to call rogue members and leaders to order.
Addressing the Northern Cape provincial conference on Saturday, Ramaphosa said such behaviour is expected from those who used to benefit from rogue practices in the past.
“Our movement is going through a period characterised by instances of ill-discipline and disrespect for organisational norms, values and resistance. This is expected. Any project of renewal and rebuilding will encounter resistance from those who benefited from the deviant practices of the past,” said the President.
Ramaphosa said though the decision to forge unity in the party was made at Nasrec, there were those who were intentionally deviating from ANC principles, further saying they would be dealt with.
“We are determined to execute the mandate given to us by the Nasrec conference. Delegates at that conference were clear when they said all ANC members must work harder together to unite and renew this glorious movement of our people. Unity doesn’t mean that we must close ranks at all costs at all times,” he said.
“When a comrade is denigrating or attacking the ideals and mission of our movement, then we need to call that comrade to order – that is unity. Calling out wrong or deviant behaviour that demeans the standing of the ANC is protecting the ANC. Our renewal process must tell us that we want to protect the ANC – its standing, existence and effectiveness. It is a revolutionary imperative.
“When we see some of the leaders behaving in a manner that portrays a less than ideal understanding of the culture, values and principles … the ANC is a caring organisation but our care and understanding must not be misconstrued. We must arrive at a point where we will not tolerate deviant behaviour that undermines the standing of this glorious movement and its integrity. There is room for everyone who will abide by its mission.”
Watch Ramaphosa’s address below:
Earlier in the day, Northern Cape ANC chairperson and premier, Dr Zamani Saul, in a clear reference to Ace Magashule’s defiance of the ANC, said out of all the 15 ANC former secretary- generals, it was the first time that the ANC was confronted with such a peculiar problem where the secretary-general was deeply compromised.
“So comrades, there are no historical lessons, on how best to deal with the current problem, because we do not have a history of a Secretary-General with a distorted logic about his role, thinking that he is above the organisation and its Constitution, above conference resolutions and above the NEC,” he said.
Additional reporting by Eric Naki