African National Congress (ANC) veteran and former Cabinet minister Jeff Radebe has warned that the party is in grave danger of losing power in 2024 unless it renews its character, politics and values.

According to TimesLive, Radebe highlighted allegations of corruption against party leaders and members, loss of credibility due to bad performance in service delivery and the inability to attract young people as factors putting the ANC at risk of losing power.

The report said these frank admissions were contained in discussion documents prepared for the ANC national general council (NGC) in May next year. The documents were released yesterday.

Radebe, who is ANC head of policy, said that in the worst-case scenario, one possibility was that the party might become so weakened that it could be forced into coalition governments or on to opposition benches.

The other possibility, Radebe said, was that the ANC might still remain a leading force, but that ‘its unity of purpose, values and standing [are] compromised to such an extent that its very character as a people’s movement, a disciplined force of the left and agent for change, is a thing of the past’.

‘And it veers between populism, reaction and conservatism, maintaining the status quo and presiding over a failed transition.’

The report said the party used the term ‘sins of the incumbency’ to refer to the consequences of having been in power for too long, including taking support for granted, and being prone to arrogance, nepotism and corruption.

It quoted Radebe’s overview, Through the Eye of the Needle, as saying: ‘The organisation is in crisis and has difficult choices to make: either let the downward spiral continue until we hit rock-bottom, or take a sharp turn upwards and work towards a new beginning.’

[Picture: Frank Schwichtenberg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60987126]

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