Recipe for disaster

ON June 25 and 26 in 1955 the people of South Africa - black, white, coloured and Indian - held a mammoth Congress of the People meeting in Kliptown, outside Soweto, and came out with a historic document called The Freedom Charter.

ON June 25 and 26 in 1955 the people of South Africa - black, white, coloured and Indian - held a mammoth Congress of the People meeting in Kliptown, outside Soweto, and came out with a historic document called The Freedom Charter.

The charter, an alternative vision to the repressive policies of the apartheid state, became a significant document because it embodied the hopes and aspirations of the people of South Africa.

Ever since its adoption, the Freedom Charter has been the cornerstone of the ANC and has been seen by many as the foundation of the Constitution of the country.

Following the preamble, the charter declares: "The people shall govern."

Which brings to mind the events of the past weekend when the ruling ANC in Gauteng held its provincial conference.

In that conference the people of the province spoke and retained Paul Mashatile as the chairperson.

There had been speculation in the build-up to the conference that Mashatile could be ousted by Nomvula Mokonyane, the premier of the richest province in the country.

Mokonyane was appointed first citizen of the province by the ANC national executive committee against the popular and decade-long practice of a provincial party leader being the incumbent.

Now political commentators say that imposing premiers on provinces could be a recipe for disaster.

They warn that governing Gauteng could be negatively affected by what they call two centres of power.

Meanwhile, the ANC has poured cold water over this and said there was no element of two centres of power since the mother body was the centre of power. With the events of Polokwane still fresh in our minds, we beg to differ.

While we wait with bated breath for new developments post this conference, we expect service delivery.

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