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'The enemy is within the ANC,' says former intelligence chief

'ANC cadres' take on the party, saying it is facing a crisis of leadership

ANC cadres, led by retired army general Maomela Motau, presented the party with what they called the 'turnaround strategy 2025'.
ANC cadres, led by retired army general Maomela Motau, presented the party with what they called the 'turnaround strategy 2025'.
Image: Supplied

A group calling themselves “ANC cadres”, led by a former chief of military intelligence, claims that the party faces a leadership crisis because the members of its higher echelons have credentials “not earned in struggle but grabbed through other means”.

This is according to a 31-page letter titled “ANC turnaround strategy 2025” which was submitted to ANC officials after the grouping’s summit held to examine the state of the party. 

The leader of the group, Maomela Motau, previously told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE that it would soon meet ANC leaders to express their views on the state of the party. Motau is a retired SA Army general.

The group told party officials that some among the ANC's leadership were “highly compromised” - and that it had located the party’s “worst enemy” to be within its own ranks.

According to the letter, the enemies are those who:

  • “consciously accepted money understanding that they are going to serve their new masters against their people”;
  • “consciously decided to serve foreign interests, yesterday and today, against us for personal gain”;
  • “were too naive to take money with the vain hope that they would not be blackmailed and that they would not be exposed”; and
  • “have elected to become fronts for personal gain and therefore become tools to be used against the interests of our people.”

The letter further stated that the ANC has been allowed to become a captive of neoliberalism and therefore unable to think and function outside this framework. 

The grouping believes the ANC has lost its character and content of a liberation movement, and lacks effective political education. It also charges that cadre development has not taken place, the party is not championing practical economic programmes, particularly for marginalised Africans, and has failed to pursue any clear decolonisation agenda while neoliberalism has permeated its thinking and approaches.

“This is more evident in the language we speak and policies we adopt and pursue,” it said.

The grouping’s analysis of the state of the ANC found that the party leadership have become captives of fear associated with change, and leaders were therefore afraid to dismantle institutions, structures and the legal framework of colonialism. 

“We are afraid to rock the boat and have chosen to live in seeming comfort of neocolonialism. We are certainly immobilised by fear that civil war may be unleashed by those who oppressed us for centuries, sanctions may be imposed by our previous colonial masters and our quest for freedom might attract retribution.”

The ANC cadres also bemoaned economic marginalisation of Africans and said sabotaging of state-owned enterprises was undertaken to render them useless so as to ensure privatisation.

They have since committed to safeguard the unity and integrity of the party, put the interest of “our people” first, act as revolutionaries and resist easy victories. 

“To alter the dangerous course we are on, it cannot be business as usual; extraordinary measures are required to bring about the necessary changes. 

“In this regard, it is important we should understand that the fate of the ANC is intertwined with the fate of our country. To change the fortunes of the ANC it is therefore necessary to simultaneously change the course the country has taken,” said the letter. 

The grouping plans to help rebuild and revitalise the ANC and believes attending to the leadership question is a critical starting point.  

“Crisis management and extraordinary measures are required to steady the ship and guide it through rough seas. In this regard, we start by presenting main considerations and then canvass strategic issues of leadership, reorientation of the ANC to a liberation movement, and our roles in government and parliament,” said the letter.


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