The African National Congress (ANC) has come out strongly against corrupt individuals in its structures, warning that steps will be taken against national and provincial secretaries if action is not taken against transgressors.
Member of the ANC's drafting committee on organisational renewal committee Febe Potgieter-Gqubule was reporting back on the proposals that were taken at Plenary during its policy conference at Nasrec Expo Centre on Tuesday.
She said there was a firm suggestion that national and provincial secretaries will be tasked to take action against offenders.
"If action is not taken, they will be accountable for the lack of action and they will have to explain why action is not taken. ANC needs to distance itself from corruption. Whether it's in its ranks, individuals, whether it's outside of its ranks, supporters and donors, we need to be very firm about that."
This will be done through the party’s integrity commission, which must become independent, she said.
She said the integrity commission will have the power to summon members and have the power to make final decisions.
The Plenary also amended KwaZulu-Natal’s proposal for the loser of the presidential race to automatically become deputy president. Potgieter-Gqubule said the ANC proposes that the loser in the election can contest the position of deputy president to break the stranglehold of slates.
"You start at the position of president, whoever comes second has the opportunity to be nominated for deputy president or secretary general and we go on like that so that we do break the stranglehold of slates."
The ANC Youth League and the Northern Cape ANC had previously rejected this proposal. The ANCYL said the political arrangement would reduce the ANC to a "chieftainship" and would be a violation of the party’s constitution.
'Smaller NEC' A proposal has also been made by the commission to reduce the NEC from 86 elected members to between 40 and 60.
"You need a much smaller, workable NEC that is able to discuss issues and process issues."
The size of the top six will also be reviewed by branches heading to the national elective conference.
The Plenary proposed that the party has two deputy president or two deputy secretary generals who will have the responsibility of looking at international relations with the other monitoring governance and implementation of its policies.
"This is particularly at looking at strengthening the ANC and NEC in areas we have identified as problems," she said.
In its current form, ANC branches nominate 60 people for its leadership positions, but the commission now proposes that branches nominate only 20 people.
"Which means that you have a fair slate of nominations from across the country. That kind of system will also help to bring in other sectors of society."
A radical proposal by the Eastern Cape was that each of the 1-million members of the party be allowed to vote during its election.
Instead of having an electoral college of 5 000 delegates voting for its leaders, the ANC would have to use the United States' system of primaries, where all members vote for a candidate. Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane told News24 that this system would eliminate slate politics and patronage in the governing party.