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    Conference Papers


    Fighting Violations of What the ANC Stands For Is Not Sowing Disunity 
    Joel Netshitenzhe
    The consequences of the cabinet changes announced last week are starting to play out: in society, in the economy and within the ANC itself. Much has been said about the stirrings in society and the economic implications. A brief reflection on what the ANC leadership and membership can do may be of some use. The ANC asserts that it is the strategic centre of power in relation to its members located in the state, the organisational terrain and other centres. Especially where its members are deployed by the organisation, it is critical for the ANC] to provide the broad mandate within which they operate. It should be able to monitor and evaluate whether its policies are being implemented. While recognising that mistakes may be made from time to time, the ANC should be able to assess whether such failures are a consequence of poor implementation, inappropriate policies or leadership weaknesses. This should then guide the action it takes. How is this relevant to the latest developments? From communication by some of the ANC officials (the top six), after disquiet was expressed about cabinet changes at last week's Monday meeting, there was agreement to consult further. When five of the officials met last Thursday (with the chairwoman out of the country), the majority of them were against the proposed changes, especially in the Treasury. They also argued against the retention of poor performers, some of whom recently attracted adverse comments from Parliament and the courts. Treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says he was left with "a distinct impression that the ANC is no longer the centre". Party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa expressed the same sentiment and added that they had informed the president that they would express their misgivings in public. A campaign has now started to label these officials as ill-disciplined for the public statements they have made. This, however, sounds hollow given the fact that the majority of the officials at the Thursday meeting were against a list, to paraphrase secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, that had been cobbled together elsewhere and that they were required merely to legitimise. But the president defied the will of the majority at that meeting, falling back on his constitutional prerogative as head of state and government. And so, we are left to wonder, on whose head does the cap of ill-discipline fit? What this demonstrates is a growing divergence of interests and approaches of an individual from those of the ANC. 

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