There is always a question one asks: ‘Why now, why start with me, what about the others before me?’ I suppose this is a very natural thing to ask when you observe many wrong things being done by others and behaviour being exhibited by others and nothing of any consequence happens to them.
This also becomes a very natural and expected question when the person or persons taking the action against you also have a cloud hanging over them and have many rumoured wrongdoings, which might not have been tested. Bear in mind, with impending elections there is also the ever-present suspicion that certain actions are not taken with pure intentions but with an eye firmly on the leadership battles on the horizon. Those reservations are expected and in fact are par for the course, but that does not necessarily always have to be true.
The question then becomes – when is the right time to act against wrongdoing? Does it matter whether the person or persons taking the actions are in some way tainted – even though nothing yet has been concretely proven against them? Should we then discard any action taken by those people just because there are rumours swirling around them? You might be wondering what I am taking about. Let me lay it out for you.
The Eastern Cape ANC Provincial Executive Committee announced a slew of suspensions and disciplinary measures against very senior and prominent members of its various structures. The provincial ANC secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi explained: “The PEC has decided to invoke the ANC constitution 25.70” and they sent two of the regional leaders who had refused to ‘step aside’ to the integrity committee and had their roles in the organisations halted. In total there are more than 25 people affected by these actions taken by the PEC.
It is quite clear that the PEC led by the embattled provincial chairperson and premier Oscar Mabuyane has gone for broke and has not only potentially disturbed the hornet’s nest but has poked the bear in the eye. The questions that I posed at the beginning are now becoming a song by many people and those who support these individuals. I have this view on the matter and many like it.
There is no right or wrong time to do something – what is wrong is wrong, no matter who is saying it. That in the past the PEC or any other structure of the ANC failed to act on similar issues does not mean that when they do they are incorrect. They have to start somewhere to right the ship. I am not privy to their intentions, whether nefarious or good, so I will only concentrate on the action itself.
Are these suspensions and other actions in line with the ANC constitution? If the answer is yes, then what is the issue? If down the line some of the people who have been part of the group that took these decisions get implicated in something similar then the ANC must act upon them with similar vigour. For me it is as simple as that and I have no time for any conspiracy theories about the impending leadership contests in regions and provinces. That is a matter for the ANC to grapple with when the time comes. Act and act now, I say. Bravo to the PEC for not only talking the talk, but for walking the walk too.