Johannesburg – The ANC is making plans to force its members to sign a code of conduct to enforce discipline and prevent misconduct or any other actions requiring internal disciplinary and remedial action.
One of the proposals by the ANC’s Gaby Shapiro branch in Rondebosch, Cape Town, is for a new rule outlining a code of conduct, which, among other reasons, is for current and potential members to understand that an exemplary code of conduct is a constitutional requirement.
According to the branch, a spelt-out code of conduct leaves little to no space for members to apply varying interpretations on what constitutes misconduct or actions requiring disciplinary and/or further remedial actions.
“The third is our belief that the inclusion thereof as a stand-alone and distinct rule will empower the integrity commission and disciplinary committees to uphold and/or reprimand members in accordance with the code of conduct and thus ensure fairness in decision-making by these two committees,” states the branch’s proposal.
The Gaby Shapiro branch will also propose that such a rule must also state that all new and existing members will be expected to sign the code and that each time a member renews their membership, they will be required to sign the code of conduct again.
Last Saturday, the branch nominated President Cyril Ramaphosa to retain his position, and Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to be his deputy, while it wants Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo as national chairperson at the ANC national conference in December.
Other top six nominees include ANC general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule to be secretary-general, former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli as deputy secretary-general and South Africa’s ambassador to Vietnam and erstwhile ANC Youth League secretary-general Vuyiswa Tulelo as treasurer-general.
In its motivation, the branch stated that it noticed that there were no amendments proposed for the critical rule two of the ANC constitution, its preamble or anything about the code of conduct of members.
“Hence, we took it upon ourselves as a branch to develop proposed amendments for further discussion by the organisation.
“We have done this because we strongly believe that branches, as the basic structure of the ANC, are equally as responsible for renewing the organisation and setting the parameters of such renewal as the elected structures and leadership of the organisation,” the branch explained in its submission.
ANC branches are also expected to deliberate on a draft resolution on dealing with misconduct, crime, corruption and ill-discipline. It wants members to be sanctioned to the maximum extent of the law and the party’s code of conduct for abusing the step-aside rule by making false accusations that lead to malicious prosecution.
The ANC wants its integrity commission to lead in combating unethical conduct, as well as increase compliance with the party’s constitution, rules and code of conduct by all members in another proposed amendment.
”The ANC, therefore, recommends that the party (should) consider enforcing organisational discipline across all levels of the organisation. Many ANC members conduct themselves within its code of conduct, but there is evidence of deviation by some members,” the party maintained.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile has indicated that the deadline for the submission of comments to the draft amendments was September 15.
ANC Gaby Shapiro branch chairperson Safoora Sadek said there had been a lot of interest since its submissions were also sent to the subcommittee on constitutional amendments and the secretary-general’s office.
As per ANC culture, Sadek added, the proposed amendments were open for discussion and that they have received positive feedback on their proposals. She also called on the ANC to screen members to ensure that they are committed to the ideals of the organisation and added that this would be quite important for the party’s renewal.
“New members must abide by the ANC’s values or else they should not be allowed to join the organisation,” said Sadek, adding that the organisation should not compromise on morality, or its norms and values.
She said a code of conduct would make it easier for ANC’s disciplinary and electoral committees. Sadek believes a code of conduct would make it a lot easier for the disciplinary committee to do their work without being accused of non-uniform interpretation and for its members to be unambiguous in their work.