Lekota: why I plan to leave

Mosiuoa Lekota, the former Minister of Defence, yesterday told a press conference of an impending split in the ANC. This is what he said:

Mosiuoa Lekota, the former Minister of Defence, yesterday told a press conference of an impending split in the ANC. This is what he said:

We have been members of the ANC for varying periods of time and realise that it has been taken away from its policy principles, practices and values, which originally attracted us to the organisation.

We are still inspired by the policies of the ANC and the ideals set out in the Freedom Charter.

And because we realise that the leadership is taking the ANC in a different direction, we feel duty-bound to raise our voices in protest at this deviation. \

These deviations include the following:

1 The ANC is anti-tribalism:

ANC was founded on the clarion call that petty tribal "jealousies" should be buried forever.

The constitution of the ANC enjoins all members to fight tribalism. And yet both before and during the Polokwane conference slogans promoting tribalism were bluntly displayed by delegates in meetings and at the conference.

To date we have observed no action by the leadership to bring to book those who offended in this way.

2 Elimination of internal democracy:

Historically members of the ANC are not penalised for holding views or expressing preferences when it comes to electing leaders.

But since Polokwane we have observed a systematic weeding out from structures of the organisation and government, those comrades who preferred leadership other than the current national executive committee.

This dictatorial approach to ANC affairs is unheard of in the history of the organisation.

3 Elevation of peripheral issues to national interests:

There is a tendency to elevate the interests of individuals to the level of national priorities.

Schools are closed and children from poor black areas are marched to the courts to demonstrate in support of individuals charged in their private capacities.

This does not accord with the national interest.

4 Violation of equality before the law:

The demand for equality before the law is enshrined in both the Freedom Charter and Constitution of the Republic. But recently our leadership has been calling for a political solution to the charges against the president of the ANC.

This suggests that there is a law for some and NOT for all South Africans - a departure from one the vital principles of our Constitution.

5 Attacks on the institutions and agencies of governance:

In the recent period we have witnessed, with alarm, public attacks on the judiciary and other institutions of democratic governance.

These attacks were not mandated by conference or any known meetings of the ANC. These attacks serve to undermine, instead of strengthening our democracy. \

In our understanding, the ANC is committed to a strong judiciary and other arms of government - not just in words but also in practice.

6Peace and security:

There shall be peace and security as declared by our people at Kliptown in 1955.

In this democratic South Africa the present leaders proclaim that they will kill (if someone was not elected president).

This threat flies in the face of the promise that there shall be peace and security in this democracy for which all of us sacrificed many things.

It also leaves all of us insecure and uncertain of the future we desire.

These concerns compel us to raise our voices in protest.

We remain loyal to the established ideals of the ANC as set out in its constitution, the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic. We cannot keep quiet when they are trampled upon.

Therefore we make a public appeal to all who share our concerns to join in a collective effort to defend our movement and our democracy.