28 September 2022 – 15:12

All members of the ANC are required, in terms of the party’s constitution, to swear: “I will defend the unity and integrity of the [ANC] and its principles, and combat any tendency towards disruption and factionalism.”

Rule 5.2.7 requires all ANC members to “observe discipline, behave honestly and carry out loyally the decisions of the majority …”

Misconduct by ANC members is defined to include “conviction in a court of law and being sentenced to a term of imprisonment without the option of a fine, for any offence”.

Jacob Zuma has been so convicted and sentenced for contempt of court, and he can hardly be regarded as loyal to the Nasrec 2017 winning team when he still backs his ex-wife for the presidency of the ANC in 2022, after she lost in 2017.

He has since 2017 stopped defending the unity and integrity of the ANC. His somewhat coy willingness to stand for chairmanship of the ANC (described as a “joke” by the current chair, Gwede Mantashe) smacks of disruption and factionalism.

Amid all these factors Zuma remains a card-carrying member of the ANC in good standing. The kid-glove approach of the party’s leadership to the undisciplined behaviour of Zuma and his ilk has already led to the isolation of KwaZulu-Natal branches and the fragmentation of the party.

Humiliation awaits the ANC either at the polls or by way of a split in its ranks induced by undisciplined conduct. Support for the tilt at the presidency by former health minister Zweli Mkhize from within the ANC branches in KwaZulu-Natal is unlikely to be replicated elsewhere in the country. But it shows that too many in the ANC have learned nothing from backing those who are under a cloud of suspicion.

Unless and until ANC leaders are held to account for their actions the rot will continue. The only senior ANC politician the National Prosecuting Authority is prosecuting is Zuma. How droll that the case has been pending for over a decade.

Acting diligently and without delay (the constitutional standard) on whatever emerges from the Phala Phala burglary would make a refreshing change.

Paul Hoffman, SC
Director, Accountability Now

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