For the ANC to properly renew itself, it may have to overhaul or audit its entire membership.
These are the views coming out of the engagements former president Thabo Mbeki is having with the ANC in the Free State around the renewal and rebuilding of the ruling party.
Mbeki is said to have called for the membership of all card-carrying members of the party to be audited while Mxolisi Dukwana, ANC Free State interim provincial committee (IPC) convener, seemed to be calling for its entire overhaul.
Mbeki is spending the weekend in the Free State to help the party rebuild its structures as party of a renewal process after years of chaotic rule under then provincial chair and premier Ace Magashule.
ANC insiders who attended the closed session on Friday just outside Bloemfontein said they supported Mbeki’s call.
“Political audit is when you present your resume as to when you came onboard and brought or recruited by whom. Then whose you mention must attest to that. In other words, we call it political vetting,” said an insider.
Political vetting will assist because people will not exaggerate their credentials
An insider at ANC engagements in Free State
“ [The former] president knows exactly what he is talking about. Political vetting will assist because people will not exaggerate their credentials.”
In an interview with TimesLIVE, Dukwana was asked what he thought it would take for the ANC to start actioning the renewal process which has so far only been rhetoric.
He said the party may be forced to overhaul its entire membership and start afresh as the ANC had been infiltrated by “criminal elements”.
This overhaul, which can be part of the ANC’s renewal commission to be set up soon, will help the party identify rogues, as everyone who wishes to become a party member will be vetted.
The infiltration, Dukwana said, seeped in when the party went on a drive for one million members.
“I think we are encouraged by the work of the team set up by the veteran’s league [renewal commission] that deals with the renewal process and identifying all the stages that need to be taken in terms of dealing with the actual membership and making people understand,” said Dukwana.
“It even goes to the point that all of us should rejoin the ANC and should go through a process to be evaluated and assessed, and only those who are fit, who meet the criteria of being members of the ANC, should be allowed.”
This may, however, be met with resistance from within the party.
National executive committee member and head of organising Nomvula Mokonyane told TimesLIVE this process would be flawed as it would be exclusionary, with certain people deciding who should be allowed in and who shouldn’t.
Mokonyane’s organising team assisted the Free State to put together the event with Mbeki.
“Whatever is happening in the ANC is about the evolution of the party. There mustn’t be those who will seek to be like those who will take others before Pontius Pilate and say ‘find them guilty’. We must appreciate everybody’s contribution,” Mokonyane said.
“Everybody must play a part. We don’t need an ad hoc intervention, a process of holier than thou.”
Mokonyane said if everyone’s membership was dissolved, who would be in charge of the vetting processes of the new membership.
She said the process had to be undertaken by ANC leaders and party members.