The ANC has raised concerns about the spate of racist incidents which it believes has presented a threat to social cohesion and non-racialism in the country.
The ANC has resolved that there be harsher action taken against any persons or organisations found to be engaging in racist acts in the country and has lamented the extent to which it believes it has eroded the strength of relationships and the sense of solidarity in communities.
Speaking to the media on Thursday during a feedback session of the party’s national conference commission on strategy and tactics, National Executive Committee (NEC) member David Makhura said a racist agenda was being driven by the “right wing”.
Makhura was speaking at the Imvelo Safari Lodge, near Bloemfontein, where the ANC’s Free State structure was participating in the hybrid continuation of the party’s national conference.
“We are heading to a dangerous place which is unacceptable, as long as the ANC is in charge we need to sharpen our response.
“We cannot tolerate racism, we did not discuss specifically instruments like what legislation will be used. We said at the level of the state we need to sharpen our instruments. The South African government needs to be following through on our Constitution. I know that dealing with racism, there may be specific proposals from other commissions on what needs to be done,” according to Makhura.
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Makhura noted a number of racist incidents which have recently surfaced on social media and explained that party members felt strongly about the government looking further into curbing them.
The country was rocked by an incident in December, where black teens were barred by white men from entering the pool area at Maselspoort resort in the Free State. When the teens decided to ignore this and proceeded to swim, they were then attacked by a number of white men who were present.
In the video which made the rounds on social media, Kobus Klaassen, the man seen to be allegedly attacking the boys, was charged with attempted murder, common assault and crimen injuria.
Makhura said the ANC is also working on boosting fundamental transformation in South Africa and added that those who want the current status quo to remain the same are in favour of white domination.
He explained that those who are against the transformation agenda have utilised democratic institutions to try to sustain “racial privilege in the economy and broader society”.
According to the draft strategy and tactics draft document, which Daily Maverick has seen, the ANC states the following about transformation:
“The ANC wants to develop a more assertive, emboldened strategic posture to defend our constitutional democracy and advance the transformation agenda without any apology, across all sectors and pillars of transformation. Where necessary, policies and programmes that have not worked should be reviewed.”
The ANC is concluding its national conference in the next two days with the party expected to wrap up its discussions on key party policy. The continuation comes just days before the party’s 111th anniversary celebrations.
Whether Eastern Cape provincial executive member Andile Lungisa will be able to assume his position as an NEC member, is yet to be determined. He was allowed to run for the NEC despite having been suspended by the party.
Lungisa faced the ANC’s Provincial Disciplinary Committee after being charged with violating Rule 25.17.2. of the party’s constitution. The charges relate to his criminal record for smashing a glass jug on an opposition party member’s head six years ago.
The party did not manage to conclude its conference as scheduled between 16 and 20 December. The conference was marred by delays which saw its full complement of delegates only being registered on by the second day of the gathering. DM
Update: Conference proceedings adjourned at 3am.