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National Working Committee statement

22 June 2010

The National Working Committee held its normal bi-weekly meeting on Monday 21 June 2010, at Luthuli House. The focus of the meeting was on the preparations for the National General Council in September 2010. The first draft discussion policy papers were tabled for consideration by the NWC. The NWC agreed that the process of consolidating these papers should continue and the next two Mondays be used by the NWC for refining all these policy papers in time for the next National Executive Committee meeting where all these NGC discussion documents will be signed off.

The meeting also received the report from the officials on the so-called Vavi matter. It is important that we first clarify the facts on this matter as it has been kept on the public domain for the past three weeks on the basis of a leak to journalists regarding discussions in the NWC meeting of 30 May 2010. In this meeting an issue was raised about the public pronouncements by members of the ANC who happen to be leaders in other alliance components.

These pronouncements which amounted to public spats also dragged names of other leaders through the mud. An observation was then made that on the part of the general secretary of COSATU, cde Zwelinzima Vavi, this has become a norm, wherein innuendo was used to caricature some unnamed leaders of the ANC as corrupt. In trying to qualify his pronouncements on corruption in the ANC, the names of cde Siphiwe Nyanda and Sicelo Shiceka were specifically mentioned whether voluntarily by comrade Vavi or in answering questions from journalists.

It was the view of the NWC that pronouncements by Cde Vavi have gone too far. The possibility of charging comrade Vavi was put as a possible option with the proviso that facts about this incident be investigated.

Having been seized with this matter for some time now the NWC has now decided that the following principles be clarified: -

  • In terms of the ANC Constitution "all members, without exception, must abide by the Constitution of the ANC, and the Rules and Regulations, the Standing Orders and Codes of Conduct, as adopted or amended from time to time, as well as all policies and decisions properly adopted or made in terms of the Constitution". This observation clarifies the question of whether the ANC can charge comrade Vavi or not. There is no question of any member being exempted from being charged on the basis of such a member being a leader of another alliance partner. It is not COSATU that is a member of the ANC but thousands of individual members who have joined the ANC individually also in some instances joined unions in their respective workplaces. There is no COSATU block membership in the ANC.
  • The history of our movement is full of names of comrades who were charged whilst being leaders of the alliance component and determination made about their behaviour and conduct within the ANC. It is therefore being economical with facts and truth to say it has never happened in the history of the alliance to charge leaders of other alliance partners, including after the unbanning.
  • There is therefore no question of the ANC being unable to charge its members because they happen to be leaders of one or the other alliance partner. These individual members are expected to defend the congress movement irrespective of the company they find themselves in.

Having made these observations the NWC decided that: -

  • In dealing with this alien behaviour charging comrade Vavi will not be the best route to take.
  • This is a political problem that must be addressed as such.
  • In dealing with this matter politically, COSATU will be engaged directly and asked to abide by the decisions taken by the alliance structures. COSATU will be asked to particularly observe our decisions on stopping public spats and also the ease with which fellow comrades or leaders are attacked in public.
  • The generalisation in talking about corruption must end and all the leaders of the movement must be specific in raising issues particularly around corruption. Mentioning names of individual comrades as corrupt without facts is dangerous in that when such comrades are cleared the allegation will not disappear. The example would be the isolation of comrade Siphiwe Nyanda as corrupt for staying in a hotel while waiting for official residence to be allocated by Public Works which applies to all ministers and deputy ministers. We believe that such accusations of corruption levelled against cde Nyanda and others in similar circumstances, is stretching things too far, smacks of mischief and is totally disingenuous.
  • When any alliance partner has issues that are serious enough to receive our attention, such a partner has a duty and responsibility to engage with us before going public and be seen to be attacking another partner.
  • In future this behaviour by individual members of the ANC will be closely monitored and there will be consequences whenever any deviant behaviour is observed.

The NWC also took the opportunity to wish Bafana Bafana well in their 2010 FIFA World Cup encounter with France today.

The ANC remains confident that Bafana Bafana can still make the country proud. We are also pleased by the support that Bafana Bafana continues to receive from all South Africans.

South Africans have shown the entire world that they are good hosts, we are also confident that South Africa will continue to show this passion until the end of the FIFA World Cup. We are already winners as South Africa for hosting the most successful FIFA World Cup. Lets hold our heads high!!!

Issued by:
ANC Secretary General
Gwede Mantashe

Jackson Mthembu 082 370 8401
Ishmael Mnisi 082 333 5550