ANC calls for new democracy deal
Thursday 22 December 1994
The meeting urged the government to take quick measures to improve living standards for the black majority and to restructure the Afrikaner-dominated civil service so that it could push through reforms quickly. "We reaffirm the liberation of black peoplein general and the Africans in particular as the main content of our national democratic revolution," a conference resolution said.
The call for the replacement of the interim constitution, which expires in five years, would be tempered, said Justice Minister Dullah Omar, by the ANC's acceptance that "we will have to work within the provisions of the constitutional principles" adopt e d at the World Trade Centre negotiations last year. "Until we transform state machinery as a whole into a loyal instrument of democracy, transfer of power to the people will not be complete."
The ANC's 49th congress, held at the University of the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein, a bastion of white conservatism, was marked by support for economic policies, such as budget cutbacks and privatisation, that once would have been an anathema to ANC allies in the Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). Proceeds from sales of state assets should go to reducing the government debt, rather than to fund current expenditure, the meeting decided.
The conference was also critical of the party's performance in leading the government of national unity seven months after sweeping the country's first all-race elections in April.
While the conference had confounded "prophets of doom" who predicted that delegates would criticise party leaders for forgetting their constituents, President Mandela said that the cabinet should remember the saying that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
"We need fresh blood," Mr Mandela said after elections to the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC). "One problem is that some people have an instinctive resistance to this. Some of us feel threatened by the prospect of being challenged. We cannot survive if we do not change. Some comrades do not welcome opposition and tend to sideline and even slander comrades with an independent view," Mr Mandela said.
An attempt by Mr Mandela to set up a committee to draw up a recommended list of NEC candidates, designed party officials said to ensure proper gender, regional and racial representation, was stillborn amid opposition among the 3,000 party delegates.
Four of the party's top officials, including Mr Mandela, the deputy president, Thabo Mbeki, and Cyril Ramaphosa, the secretary general, won their election unopposed, There were few surprises in the elections for the 60-member NEC. Mr Mandela's estranged wife, Winnie, the Women's League president and Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Deputy Minister, came in fifth with 1,802 votes. Mrs Mandela was linked to a new scandal at the weekend, as press reports alleged her involvement in a scheme to buy diamonds from President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola. Nevertheless, delegates broke into frenzied applause as Mrs Mandela and the president embraced.
Mr Mandela also criticised the party for mismanagement of funds and said it undermined its attacks on the corruption of the former white minority rulers.Some estimates put the ANC's party debt at £13m.
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Paul Walker: Fans hold memorial and car rally for Fast & Furious actor
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 27 animals died during filming of Hollywood blockbuster The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, says report
- 4 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- < Previous
- Next >
£400 - £450 per day: PCR Recruitment Limited: Snr Java Developer, London, £400...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Excellent Benefits: PCR Recruitment Limited: Web T...
£80000 - £120000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Risk - Delivery/...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: This is a new role carrying responsibility for a numbe...