The ANC’s head of the organisation’s sub-committee on strategy and tactics, Nathi Mthethwa, has suggested the ruling party must take a careful look at the process of electing its leadership.
Mthethwa echoed a view expressed earlier by ANC stalwarts who suggested the ANC should review its electoral process, as it currently causes divisions among party members.
The stalwarts want the matter corrected at the June policy conference and subsequently adopted by the December national conference. It has been a bone of contention among the party rank and file that leaders are imposed from above while those nominated by branches are ignored.
The branches said this undemocratic approach opened fertile ground for factional fights in the nomination of candidates.
Mthethwa was addressing the media during an ANC discussion forum on the Strategy and Tactics Discussion Document at the party headquarters in Johannesburg yesterday. The document is one of nine that the organisation publicly unveiled last week in preparation for its upcoming 54th elective national conference to be held in December.
The national conference will be preceded by a national policy conference from June 30 to July 5 where new policies and amendments will be discussed. Mthethwa said there was no policy either in government or the ANC to hire only white lawyers or white law firms at the expense of black lawyers.
Mthethwa said various departments were utilising the services of lawyers regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. Some departments used black lawyers, and Africans in particular, at their own choice.
For years, lawyers affiliated to the Black Lawyers’ Association have been complaining about being sidelined by government, who they claim always hires white lawyers to handle its major court cases.
This debate often arises when major cases are under way, such as that of the recent social security grants debacle, where legal representatives were mostly from white firms.
In an apparent reference to opposition parties such as the DA and EFF and civil society groups such as AfriForum, Freedom Under Law, the Helen Suzman Foundation and many others, Mthethwa lashed out at those he said used the courts to block transformation. He said they turned to the courts even in matters that could have been dealt with politically.
However, Mthethwa admitted there had been instances where government was found wanting and had to be corrected by courts. His statement came against the backdrop of the Constitutional Court ruling that extended an invalid contract between the SA Social Security Agency and Cash Paymaster Services.
The court lambasted the executive and parliament over the way they handled the Nkandla debacle.