“The NGC cannot change a national conference decision, it can only review,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.
“The NGC operates under rule 10.6, it can alter and review decisions of all bodies but [for] the national conference.”
According to rule 10 in the African National Congress’s constitution, the NGC shall “have the right to ratify, alter or rescind any decision taken by any of the constituent bodies, units or officials of the ANC, except the national conference, including the evaluation of the performance of members of the NEC”.
President Jacob Zuma’s presidency has been marred by several controversies. They include upgrades to his personal homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, the so-called “spy tapes” which formed the basis for dropping corruption charges against him, and reports that in 2000 he accepted a R500,000 a year bribe from Ajay Sooklal, a “fixer” for French arms company Thales.
Radebe said the ANC’s leadership would be reviewed. The NGC would look at the performance of its national executive committee members and allow the party to review its policies.
The ANC will hold its NGC in June next year. The conference takes place 30 months after its last conference in Mangaung in 2012.
Radebe said corruption claims were damaging the ANC’s integrity.
“That is why we must engage with allegations of corruption even if it is factually incorrect.”
He said the ANC’s integrity committee was established because of the erosion of moral values in the party.
Radebe admitted the ANC was worried about its decline in support.
The ANC won the fifth democratic elections in May with a reduced majority of 62.15 percent, down from 65.9 percent of the vote in 2009.
“We are the first ones as the ANC to admit… we have seen a trend of a decline in the overall support that the ANC has and that worries us.
“That is why we are analysing that trend so that we are able to reverse it. There are initiatives directed at ensuring we reverse that trend.”
He said the ANC’s focus on local government and service delivery was one of these initiatives.
“If you look at May elections, especially in your big metros, we have seen a very steep decline in the fortunes of the ANC.”
There was also the matter of young people leaving the party to join the Economic Freedom Fighters and issues within its alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions.
“Let’s admit as well that we have been facing some challenges as the ANC. The mere fact that we have seen a large chunk of our youth leaving the youth league and forming a new party is a reflection of the challenges that we are facing,” Radebe said.
“Looking at the alliance, particularly Cosatu, facing also all sorts of difficulties. As a result that ideological leadership is not at its highest peak.”
The ANC was trying to solve these problems so it could “bounce back”.
ANC NEC member and Minister of Small Business Lindiwe Zulu said the problems had to be understood in context.
“There has got to be an understanding that South Africa is on the move and with South Africa on the move it also means that there will be a whole host of challenges that would not have been there 20 years ago,” she said.
“Part of those challenges we as the ANC have accepted that they become internal challenges for the ANC and therefore the internal dynamic discussions that we need to have within the organisation are very important.”
Zulu said in the past the ANC’s leadership was focused on liberating the country. Now there were new problems.
“The situation is dynamic and so the ANC has to discuss and develop how it can remain relevant.
“If you have to lead society then you need to lead by example, which means you need to get your own house in order, and I think this is what we have been engaged in, in almost all the meetings.”