The Strategic Dialogue Group (SDG) is an ANC and Congress Movement aligned national organization aimed at mobilizing and organizing former universities and college student activists from erstwhile progressive students’ movements of the 1980’s and 1990’s who belonged to AZASO, NUSAS, SANSCO and SASCO back into active participation in rebuilding South Africa.
The SDG would like to support the call by the ANC Veterans and Stalwarts for all ANC members who have been implicated in corruption to decline their nominations on the party’s lists for Parliament and Provincial Legislatures, until such time that their name have been cleared.
We have noted with extreme disappointment the failure of our movement to respond to calls and concerns of our members and supporters to ensure that we present voters with the most credible and upright leaders to represent them. Despite concerted efforts by all who care about preserving and advancing the historical high moral values of the ANC, our current leadership has chosen to remain deaf to calls to remove those that have through their behaviour have brought the ANC into disrepute.
We would like to remind the NEC and all the leadership structures that these calls are not the imaginings of “disgruntled” or “despondent” members. The resolution of the 54th ANC conference – the highest decision-making body - noted “The need to deploy ANC cadres with the qualities outlined in Through the eye of a Needle as MPs, MPLs and councillors”
And the same conference resolved that:
“Our representatives act as representatives of the people, not only the ANC, and must therefore enjoy good standing in the community” and that “consistently winning elections depends crucially on the calibre of the cadres that are deployed to elected office, their integrity and commitment to serving communities, and their performance while in office. The ANC must rigorously ensure that its candidates reflect these attributes, and establish mechanisms to hold them accountable for delivering on the ANC’s Elections Manifestos”
Conference also resolved that the 2015 NGC resolutions plus other existing and new measures be implemented urgently by the NEC and PECs to:
1. Strengthen our understanding of our values, ethics and morality and the demands that the people, the constitution and the rule of law places on us as the guardians of the state, and its resources
2. Demand that every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices accounts to the Integrity Committee immediately or faces DC processes. (Powers of IC under constitutional changes)
3. Summarily suspend people who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step down, while they face disciplinary, investigative or prosecutorial procedures.
4. We publicly disassociate ourselves from anyone, whether business donor, supporter or member, accused of corruption or reported to be involved in corruption
Given the serious ethical assault many of our public institutions (including the ANC itself) have suffered in the past few years, we are all called upon to adopt higher ethical and moral standards. We are called, above all, to demand far more from our public representatives - the very perception of impropriety and ethical deficiency should be enough for us to think twice about placing such individuals up for public office.
Insisting, as some do, that actual criminality and guilt be the ultimate standard we use to exclude tainted individuals is both short-sighted and harmful to the standing of the ANC in the eyes of the vast majority of South Africans. It certainly does not help us to move forward from our decadent recent past. Branch by branch, region by region and member by member, we have a historic, moral and ethical responsibility to overhaul, renew and re-imagine this great movement of Tambo and Luthuli into the bastion of morality it once was.
Accordingly, we call on the Integrity Committee to cleanse the list in accordance with moral and ethical standards of the ANC and in accordance with the demands of our times.
Issued by The Strategic Dialogue Group