Outspoken Motlanthe opts out of ANC probe

Staff Writer | Jul 14, 2019
Former President Kgalema Motlanthe has declined to lead an investigation into allegations surrounding the involvement of senior African National Congress (ANC) leaders in the formation of smaller parties.

The ANC announced last month that Motlanthe would lead the probe into claims that top party figures had been involved in setting up new political parties.

The announcement followed a damning affidavit by Buyisile Ngqulwana, the former general-secretary of the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ, which formed the African Transformation Movement (ATM), claiming that both former President Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule were involved in forming the party.

The Sowetan reported that Motlanthe criticised the ANC for publicly announcing the names of the task team without consulting them first.

Party spokesperson Pule Mabe played this down, however, saying Motlanthe ‘has got other responsibilities, which might make it impossible to work and deliver well within the stipulated 60-day time frame (in which) the ANC national executive committee (NEC) would have expected this task to be concluded’.

Thirty days are now left for the task team to complete its work and submit its findings to the NEC.

The IRR notes that in recent days Motlanthe’s attention has been critically focused on the implications of a key government policy initiative, the move to implement expropriation without compensation (EWC), avowedly in an effort to hasten land reform.

Speaking last week, Motlanthe warned: ‘If property is not protected you destroy value, and if there's no value then you won't have an economy driving forward. People won't invest effort and resources in building assets. And if you think about it properly, if property is not protected by law, society as we understand it today, will disappear because the kind of anarchy and chaos that would ensue is difficult to imagine.’

Motlanthe argued that Section 25 of the constitution ‘recognises that the injustices of the past must be addressed and stipulates how it should happen within the confines of the law and the Constitution’.

His comments stand in contrast to the government’s commitment to EWC, in part by amending the constitution.

In 2017, Motlanthe chaired a high-level government commission on the impact of transformative legislation, which found that there was little credible evidence that the obligation to pay compensation for land had been a significant obstacle to land reform.

The commission’s report noted that ‘other constraints, including increasing evidence of corruption by officials, the diversion of the land reform budget to elites, lack of political will, and lack of training and capacity have proved more serious stumbling blocks to land reform’.


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