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Monday, 8 September 2008

Disturbing trend in ANC

from News24
Cape Town

There is a disturbing trend in the African National Congress of confusing patriotism with party loyalty, according to former African National Congress MP Carl Niehaus.

Writing in the Cape Times on Monday, he said the greatest danger for the ANC came not from any other political party, but from "mixing up" issues of party loyalty and discipline, with patriotism.

This resulted in an expectation that the party line and leadership should be followed blindly, and that the judicial and democratic institutions of the state should merely be instruments to carry out ANC policy.

"There are disturbing trends in this direction, and if it continues, this more than anything else will become the undoing of this great people's movement," he said.

It might seem from the high seats of power that the people would always vote for the ANC, but there was no given "eternity", and people were not voting fodder.


Political office was no longer seen in the party as a place from which to serve, but as a platform to launch personal ambition and for self-enrichment.

"Those who squander the ANC's liberation dividend in this way must not think that no damage is done," he said.

The damage might not be visible in next year's election results, but history offered precedents for a slow process of erosion, followed by a devastating collapse.

Niehaus, a former political prisoner, is now executive director of a Johannesburg-based consulting and investment company.

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