Opinion Piece

OMRY MAKGOALE: Is this the right time to implement Through the Eye of the Needle Policy? Or will there ever be the right time?

The question to you, President Cyril Ramaphosa, is: do you believe in the policy, Through the Eye of the Needle? If you believe in that policy, can you say your ministerial appointments meet this criterion? Or are we just paying lip service to this policy?

This is the time to clean the ANC, to get rid of tenderpreneurs, fraudsters and liars in the list of ANC parliamentarians, in ANC structures, and in government and state structures.

ANC must set the standards of integrity. ANC parliamentarians must be exemplary and beyond reproach, and this can only be achieved by making sure all ANC parliamentarians live according to the Through the Eye of the Needle policy document. This policy document is applicable to all ANC parliamentarians and ANC office bearers, from the president to the branch chairperson.

We hope President Ramaphosa will lead by example, and that all ANC members of parliament will toe the line, ANC parliamentarians who breach the oath of office should be recalled without hesitation. All ANC officials who break the law should also be recalled, if we are to clean the image of ANC. We should not have prolific liars as ANC parliamentarians.

Comrade President Ramaphosa, your Cabinet should reflect you, your character and personality. Integrity of your cabinet members should reflect your judgement and you can only be judged by your choices.

With the national executive committee of ANC, we know it was imposed by the branch delegates at the elective conference at Nasrec last December as 50-50 between the Guptas deployees and ANC democrats, and that there is very little you can do about it except to swallow the bitter pill.

The role of the ANC Integrity Commission is more pronounced. To clean the ANC, the commission should be proactive in calling to order and recalling those implicated in wrong doing, such as lying under oath and involvement in criminal activities. It needs to step up its commission in order to save ANC.

Credible Cabinet ministers must clean the government, the state and indirectly also clean the ANC. As we approach the general elections next year, the electorate will be watching us. Are we clearing the skeletons in the cupboard or are we hiding them? We have to be seen to be cleaning the smallanyana skeletons in the ANC cupboards. We need a smell of fresh aroma in the ANC cupboard rather than the putrid smell of the tenderpreneurs. You can achieve this, comrade President Ramaphosa, by removing from the national Cabinet and provincial cabinets all those implicated in one way or another with the Guptas, all those with fraudulent records.

When all ANC office bearers notice that good behaviour is rewarded and shabby and criminal records are condemned, then – and only then – will the government, the state, the ANC and above all our beloved country, South Africa, recover from the abyss.

The question to you, President Ramaphosa, is: do you believe in the policy, Through the Eye of the Needle? If you believe in that policy, can you say your ministerial appointments meet this criterion? Or we are just paying lip service to this policy? We have to be honest to ourselves if we are to be trusted again.

We have noticed with dismay that the former president, Jacob Zuma, appears to be part of your campaign team. We hope we are mistaken and that is not the case. Former president Zuma did not meet the criterion expounded in Through the Eye of the Needle. It is known across South Africa and across the whole world that he breached all the criteria expounded by the policy, and that he handed over the ANC and the South African state to the Guptas.

The Guptas appointed ministers such as the former minerals minister Mosebenzi Zwane and the former finance minister David Van Rooyen, as well as had a hand in the oppointment of directors of parastatals Transnet, Eskom, Prasa and Denel.

It would be a shame to parade this disgraced and despised former president in our election campaigns and expect the electorate to consider us to be renewing the ANC mandate.

Remember actions speaks louder than words– that is an age-old idiom.

It is now or never. Implement Through the Eye of the Needle! DM

Omry Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC. These are his personal views