Veteran members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday urged party leaders and delegates not to vote for people implicated in corruption and wrongdoing at the upcoming elective conference, saying this was the moment to restore the movement to its former glory.
The call came ahead of the ANC's crucial 54th national conference at the weekend, where a new leadership, including the party's top six officials and national executive committee members (NEC), will be elected. The conference will bring together at least 4,000 delegates from all over South Africa.
The ANC stalwarts and veterans recently held their own alternative national consultative conference where they decided NEC member Lindiwe Sisulu should lead the party.
In an emotive open letter signed by struggle stalwart Wally Mongane Serote, the veterans called for "women and men of honour and integrity within the ANC and government to stand up against all forms of corruption" that undermine and destroy the organisation, government, and its reputation.
"We specifically call on you as NEC members to provide leadership and encourage delegates at the conference to withhold their votes from those who have been implicated in wrongdoing and who have done nothing to clear their names," they said.
"We appeal to all of you attending and are voting delegates that this historical moment to change the trajectory of the ANC and return to its values and principles is now and that a heavy responsibility lies on your shoulders. Indeed cast your vote for integrity, honesty, anti-corruption, anti-factionalism and for principled unity."
The veterans also called on ANC members who have been compromised in any way to "do the right thing" and disclose their actions by approaching law-enforcement agencies as well as the party's Integrity Commission.