The people who hold the power: various delegates

2012-11-11 10:00
Carien du Plessis
ANC branch members in Gauteng are lying low. Several have told City Press they are scared of being disqualified from attending the ANC’s elective congress in Mangaung if they speak out on the record.

A branch chairperson from the Johannesburg region agreed to talk on condition he remains anonymous. So let’s call him Mike.

Mike is a civil servant and has recently retired from the ANC Youth League, where he served as a leader in his branch. He has been in the ANC for more than a decade. He got involved in politics at school and later when he started working for trade unions.

He is married and has young children. He is a Kaizer Chiefs fan, but says he won’t be making the two-fingered sign of his favourite football team – which has also become the sign for supporters of President Jacob Zuma – until the December conference ends.

He wants Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe elected in Zuma’s place and says the ANC’s structures need modernisation.

“Much of it is still structured to accommodate people in exile, but we need to restructure these to fit with a democracy,” he says.

Mike says he hopes Mangaung will provide more certainty about the ANC’s land policy.

“If we are saying the ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ policy isn’t working, but expropriation without compensation is not in the Constitution, we should be clear what the position is.”