Accreditation of delegates to the ANC elective conferences reflects the infighting. It is a manifestation of collapsed administration systems within the oldest political organisation on the African continent.
At the core of these problems is the rigging of elections at national, provincial and municipal levels, with the sole intention of getting access to the state resources, especially the Treasury.
All eyes of the respective delegates are focused on the Treasury – the national assets available for plunder.
Elections throughout the ANC are subject to rigging. Literally all structures of ANC from national and provincial to municipal levels are affected. In some ANC structures, such as branch general meetings, election of delegates turn into boxing rings where punches are exchanged.
But in KwaZulu-Natal it goes further – to hiring killers, assassins known as Izinkabi, to eliminate rival candidates.
South Africa’s failing democracy has become a killing ground. There is competition for political power everywhere in the world, but it has to be within civilised democratic norms and not through hired killers eliminating your rival candidate.
For the ANC to survive into the future we need to find solutions to these carnivorous dogfights which lead remorselessly to spilling the blood of comrades. We should not be losing cadres such as Sindiso Magaqa to the power mongers in KwaZulu-Natal.
Gladiator fights between delegates
ANC provincial elective conferences are mired with controversies of defaulting delegates from dubious branches, in some cases with parallel branch structures from the same area.
What happened in the Free State in 2012 before the Mangaung elective conference under Premier Ace Magashule was caused by defaulting delegates from dubious structures.
In the same way, the 2015 KwaZulu-Natal elective conference was recently declared unlawful by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Slate battles are tearing the ANC apart. It is said that Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masaulle is nonpartisan and that he does not support any slate, but in the gruesome battles to access state power neutrality is not an option because it leads you to be bundled into the enemy camp – the opposite slate in this case.
Andile Lungisa is a known Dlamini-Zuma supporter. Meanwhile, Oscar Mabuyane, the Eastern Cape ANC former secretary who is now the chairperson, is known to be a Ramaphosa supporter.
He won the chairmanship with one third of the delegates outside the conference hall treating the injured after a battle of flying chairs in the conference hall.
This is how bad it has come to be in the province of Nelson Mandela and OR Tambo.
The ANC internal administration has all but collapsed, with trust in the leadership at an all-time low. Most ANC electoral disputes are settled by the courts because the leadership is not trusted to be impartial.
Leadership is slate-inclined and this could signal the disintegration of the ANC. We hope not.
The list of defaulting delegates to the various ANC elective conferences is commonplace in all provinces. This is proof of a breakdown in the administration of ANC structures from the branches, regions, provinces and to the national office.
The office of secretary-general Gwede Mantashe is overwhelmed by the crisis. All the rival candidates are fighting for access to state resources – access to the Treasury.
Without changing the current format for elective conferences as described in rule nine of the ANC constitution, this infighting will not be stopped, and the killing of ANC members by other ANC members will continue. The ANC is bleeding to death.
One ANC member one vote
The root of the problem lies in the system of minority rule in the ANC, whereby 2% of ANC members who become delegates to the national elective conference have the prerogative to elect the leaders on behalf of 98% of the members.
Giving all ANC members the right and opportunity to elect their leaders directly will get rid of this anti-democratic anomaly. All ANC members must have the same rights to elect their leaders, irrespective of position and rank.
We all sacrificed our lives for the freedom South Africa enjoys today. These horrors will continue and get even worse, unless we change the ANC internal electoral laws to one ANC member one vote. In that way we will have the majority rule inside the ANC, replacing the minority rule by the current 2% of members electing leaders with 100% of members electing leaders.
We need a secret ballot, whereby cameras and cell phones will not be allowed in the voting booth, to ensure nobody takes a photo of the ballot after voting.
We also need a biometric voting system with ID verification, eliminate vote rigging and dubious branch members.
We can then be certain of the authenticity of ANC members and get rid of fly-by-night members who are currently running some of the branches.
Without a biometric voting system it will be an illusion to expect clean, credible and authentic voting at ANC elective conferences.
We will clean up our ANC when we make it fully democratic. There is no other way. The time to do it is now.
• Omry Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC. These are his personal views.