The National Working Committee, the structure responsible for implementing decisions and instructions of the ANC NEC and for conducting current work of the ANC, sat in a regular session on Monday 24th May 2021.
This was the first meeting of the NWC following the Special NEC held from 8-10 May 2021, and therefore focused on current work of the ANC and critical issues arising from the NEC.
The Covid 19 Pandemic
- The NWC noted with concern rising infections, and warnings that some provinces are already approaching a third wave of the pandemic. As a nation, we must remain vigilant to guard against another deadly wave of the pandemic, as we enter the winter season. We all therefore need to take extra care, abide by the health protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding gatherings and hand hygiene.
- The ANC welcomes the start of the Phase 2 vaccine roll-out on 17 May 2021. It noted that every day, every week, more and more vaccine sites are being added in both the public and private health sectors.
- The ANC appreciated the enthusiasm with which older citizens have responded to the call to register for the vaccine, and went out at the appropriate time to get their Covid vaccines. We have seen the road being opened by many of our national leaders and icons. These include Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, leader of the 1956 women’s march Mam Sophie De Bruyn, Zionist Church leaders Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane and Bishop Joseph Lekganyane, ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte, former Independent Electoral Commission Chair Dr Brigalia Bam and trade unionist Pat Horn, all setting an example.
- The NWC welcomes the extra efforts that are being put in place to reach out to elderly in rural areas to ensure that no senior citizen is left behind.
Celebrating Africa Day
- The NWC met on the eve of the 58th anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of Africa Unity, now the African Union, on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa. As we observe this day along with our fellow citizens of this great continent, we are proud that the solidarity which informed the formation of the OAU is still being expressed as we battle the global COVID-19 pandemic.
- The NWC also recalled the important milestone of African unity and development reached this year, with the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area on 1 January 2021. As government, citizens, entrepreneurs, innovators, traders, professionals, tourists and business persons, we must use this critical instrument of integration to advance industrialisation, intra-African trade and investment, the building of infrastructure that helps integration, silencing the guns and deepening people to people links across the continent.
- Africa Day this year is celebrated under the theme, Arts, Culture and Heritage. Levers for the Africa We Want. This is in recognition of the critical role that the creative and heritage sectors play in our sense of identity, in the economy and our history.
Solidarity with Palestine
- The continuous assault by apartheid Israel, and the escalation of the violence inflicted on the Palestinian people, was condemned by the National Working Committee. The ANC, its Alliance partners and progressive civil society will continue to participate in solidarity actions in support of the Palestinian people, including pickets at the Israeli embassy and consulates and support for the growing call to boycott Israeli products.
- The ANC reaffirmed its support for the inalienable right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and for negotiations towards a viable two-state solution. The state of Israel must immediately cease its assault on the Palestinian people, stop and reverse the seizure of Palestinian land, and end its apartheid policies, which are an attack on the human rights and dignity of Palestinians.
- We recall and reaffirm the words of Cde Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s word that “our freedom is incomplete, without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
By-Elections and Local Government Elections
- The NWC discussed the outcomes of the by-elections held on 19 May 2021. The NWC expressed its appreciation to the voters in the 27 wards that the ANC retained and 3 new wards that were gained.
- The NWC also received a detailed report on the road map to select ANC candidates as councilors for the local government elections on 27 October 2021. ANC branches across the country have started convening Branch General Meetings (BGMs) to nominate appropriate candidates, using the ‘Through the Eye of a Needle’ document as a guide, followed by community meetings to ensure that we select the best candidates for the various wards that we will be contesting. The process of ANC branch general meetings and community meetings is expected to conclude no later than 15 June 2021.
- The NWC welcomes the extraordinary preparations by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to ensure these elections are conducted safely, including the investigation by Justice Dikgang Moseneke into the holding of local elections in conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The ANC elections machinery is starting preparations for the campaign, including urgent interventions to address the crisis of municipalities in North West and other areas, the process of candidate selection overseen by the ANC Electoral Committee chaired by former President Kgalema Motlanthe, and preparing for the IEC voter registration weekend scheduled for 18-19 July 2021.
- Special attention will be paid to young people and first-time voters, especially those who do not yet have identity documents. Young people remain the age cohort with the lowest levels of voter registration, and yet they constitute a large and critical part of the electorate. Our message to young people is: Take charge of Your Future. Get your ID, Register and Vote.
- The NWC remains seized with the process of electoral reforms currently underway in Parliament, as directed by the Constitutional Court. It will continue to engage on this critical matter of national importance.
BBGMs and Conferences
- The NWC expressed satisfaction with close to 3,000 Branch Biennial General Meetings (BBGMs) that have been held to elect new Branch Executive Committees (BECs). These BBGMs are being held on the basis of the new online ANC Membership system. The successfully elected BECs are urged to urgently convene their BGMs in order to start their candidate selection for local ANC councilors, including community meetings.
- The thousands of BECs will also be inducted shortly, to ensure they understand their roles as agents for change in taking up issues of communities and addressing community problems.
- The ANC welcomes the defeat of the court action to declare the Francis Baard regional conference invalid and to prevent the holding of the Northern Cape provincial conference. We are confident about the robustness of our internal systems, and will continue to defend the movement against attempts to undermine its constitutional processes using the courts.
Preparations for 60th Anniversary of Umkhonto we Sizwe
- The NWC appointed the ANC Archives Committee, chaired by Cde Baleka Mbete, to set up a team to prepare for the 60th anniversary of the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe on 16 December 2021. As instructed by the NEC, the Presidency and SGO are stepping up efforts to secure a unity conference for all Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans ahead of these celebrations.
Appointment of the Free State Interim Provincial Committee (IPC)
- Following the Ramakatsa vs ANC judgement, the special NEC of 8-10 May 2021 resolved that priority must be given to pursuing a political solution that will build a united and vibrant ANC in the Free State, and endorsed the efforts led by Cde Kgalema Motlanthe. The NEC further instructed the NWC, to avoid a political vacuum in the province, to establish an inclusive interim structure to take the province to an elective conference in due course.
- The NWC acting on this mandate therefore established the Free State ANC Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) as follows:
- Mxolisi Dukwana (Convenor)??
- Sefora Ntombela (Deputy Convener)?
- Paseka Nompondo (Coordinator)??
- Polediso Motsoeneng (Deputy Coordinator)?
- Saki Mokoena (Provincial Head of Elections)?
- Moretlo Nonoise
- Marqueen Letsoha
- Makhosini Msibi
- Martha Selaledi
- Ike Moroe
- Kelebogile Wesi
- Kgotso Sesele
- Kenalemang Mohale
- Toto Makume
- Malebasa Mosoue
- Gregory Nthatisi
- Kenalemang Phukuntshi
- Seiso Mohai
- Elsabe Rockman
- Mongi Ntwanambi
- Mamiki Qabathe
- Mathabo Leeto
- William Bulwana
- Tshidi Koloi
- Makalo Mohale
- Lindiwe Makhalema
- Tefetso Phitsane
- Sam Mashinini
- Maggy Sotyu
- Madala Ntombela
- Lilo Mashiya
- Thabo Meko
- Montsheng Tsiu
- Thandoxolo Khalipa
- Thembeni Ncangisa
- Nthabeleng Portia Mofokeng
- Dibolelo Mahlatsi
- Mzwandile Thakudi
- Castro Thabane
- Oupa Khoabane
On Integrity and Disciplinary Matters
- The National Working Committee:
• Supported the application to oppose the urgent application by Secretary General Cde Ace Magashule to set aside his temporary suspension in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC Constitution.
• Observed that ANC provinces and the ANC Caucus in Parliament continue to implement or give effect to the decision of the NEC that members charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside voluntarily or be suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC Constitution, and those accused of corruption but not charged to present themselves to the respective Integrity Commissions, in line with resolutions of the 54th National Conference.
• Condemned the unbecoming, divisive and defiant behavior of Secretary General Magashule and cdes Tony Yengeni and Carl Niehaus during the recent court appearance of former President Jacob Zuma. The NWC instructed the National Presenter to look into these breaches of discipline and to investigate charges in line with the ANC Constitution and Code of Conduct.
• Noted the reports of the National Disciplinary Committee setting aside the decisions of the Gauteng Provincial Disciplinary Committee in the cases of cdes Khusela Diko and Bandile Masuku.
• The Integrity Appeals Committee consisting of Cdes Vusi Khanyile (Chairperson), Mavivi Manzini, Josiah Jele, Dipuo Peters, and Johnny de Lange, as mandated by the NEC to ensure a speedy processing of appeals.
- The NWC furthermore:
• Note that an Alliance Political Council will be convened on 4-5 June 2021, followed by an Alliance Summit on the economy and political balance of forces.
• Welcomed the ongoing engagement by Officials with CONTRALESA on matters of national importance and to ensure cohesion and unity of progressive forces and the people.
• Engaged on the process to give effect to accelerated land reform and redistribution, the current process to amend Section 25 of the Constitution and to adopt the Expropriation Bill, with further urgent engagements planned on the matter.
• Noted that the NEC decision to remove ANC Youth League NYTT members that are 35 years and above has been implemented. The NYTT has since elected its working committee and has adopted a roadmap for the convening of the ANCYL National Congress.
Noted that the ANC administration will provide the NWC with a comprehensive proposal regarding the nature, form and timing of the NGC, taking into account the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government elections campaign, and other considerations.
The NWC remembered the lives that continue to be lost due to COVID-19, extended its sincerest condolences to the bereaved families, friends and colleagues and wished them strength during these difficult times.
The NWC also dipped its revolutionary banner in rememberance of ANC veterans and leaders Professor Stanislaus (Stan) Skumbuzo Mzilankatha Sangweni, Ambassador Ismael Coovadia, Dr Konji Sebati, veteran Thembi Nobadula, Joe Jongile, Nicolaas Pedro, Kwaito music legend Mojalefa “Mjokes” Matsane and Dr Sponono Francinah Baloyi.