The current African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) will go down in history for disbanding party structures across the country and failing to rebuild them, says NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane. She conceded that the leadership elected at the 2017 Nasrec conference continued to struggle to work together, even as its term of office winds down ahead of the December 2022 national conference.
“Was this collective ready to work together? I am not sure,” said Mokonyane. “We seem to be having a common appreciation of what needs to be done but how it has to be done, there we just go different ways,” she continued.
Mokonyane, in an exclusive wide-ranging sit down with the publication podcast Politricking with Tshidi Madia, raised concerns of a “triumphalist” attitude of those who are part of a dominant grouping in the organization, claiming that some held a firm belief that they had the sole wisdom of where to take the ANC.
The controversial politician also shared her thoughts on how the governing party has regressed, on the question of gender representation in its top leadership following deputy secretary Jessie Duarte taking ill and her own chances of being elected into the ANC top 6, when it eventually holds its national elective conference.
She also argued that the ANC, often described as a broad-church due to multiple schools of thought and ideology represented in the organisation, has become intolerant of diverse views, with those who disagree with the majority finding themselves struggling to remain part of the former liberation movement.
Party president Cyril Ramaphosa was not spared in the conversation, as Mokonyane criticised his inability to rein in those allegedly causing havoc in his name.
“The challenge becomes the responsibility of the leader to say ‘not in my name’ and I think Nkosazana has consistently been out there saying don’t, they couldn’t continue to be NDZ people,” she said referring to Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who lost out in the 2017 contest to become ANC president and the subsequent establishment of the so-called RET (Radical Economic Transformation) faction within the ANC.
Those associated with the RET, which has been described as an “organisation within an organisation” were supporters of NDZ, and by extension, key allies of former President Jacob Zuma.
They are currently attempting to lodge a fight-back campaign against Ramaphosa and his lieutenants, hoping to now use the theft of foreign currency from his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo to get him out of office.
“My issue with CR17 and CR22 is that you are forcing people, because you think it’s yours, you are forcing people to find a belonging… and mina, I refuse, I belong to the ANC,” said Mokonyane defiantly.
In her criticism of the NEC, which she is a part of, Mokonyane flags the first province that was dissolved by the national structure, the ANC in the North West, which remains under the watch of an interim provincial committee as one of the many problems that have been created but left without lasting solutions by the organization.
The party in the Western Cape and the Free State as well as its youth league and women’s league have also been disbanded, with the women being the latest structure to be affected by such decisions.
While she insists that she holds no brief for the women’s league and isn’t vindictive, she makes it clear that she thought very little of the election of the administration that has just been dissolved, accusing it of allowing “men to frog march them and tell them who to vote for,” but insists the league deserves its dues for holding down the fort and taking care of ANC communities and interests during the COVID-19 lockdown.
She said the organization had “regressed horribly on the gender question,” citing that even the officials’ approach to matters in Duarte’s absence was telling.
“Top 6, good to go, NEC good to go, ordinary ANC member after Nasrec 2022 good to go,” says Mokonyane when asked about contesting for a top post in the ANC.
She’s told the publication, she will go where ANC members instruct her to go.
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