Press Statement for Immediate Release
The Department of Home Affairs has Undermined the ANC Policy Conference
ANC members and PASSOP to write a letter calling on ANC to intervene urgently
We are concerned that the department is dictating to the ANC what policies should be adopted. It appears that the department dictated to the ANC membership what the policies are and has begun implementing these policies, which have not been adopted by the ANC. The department has undermined the ANC and has failed to seek political guidance, thus it appears that elements within the department have no regard for the ANC policy conferences to be held later this year. To be specific, the department has decided to begin implementing the “PEACE AND STABILITY” “discussion” document, which has not been adequately scrutinized. Within the ANC discussion document it states that the Department of Home Affairs has “announced” that it intends to move all refugee reception centers and relocate them along the border.
If the ANC policy conference is not able to debate policies including the ones which are (meant to be) proposed in the ANC discussion documents, then democracy in the ANC is undermined. We cannot allow a department’s leadership to dictate policies to the ANC membership. It is clear that the ANC leadership must intervene to show that the decision to move the refugee centers to the border is not forced upon the members of the ANC and thus the people of South Africa.
As an organization we have some ANC members in our structures and we know many ANC members who are supportive of the plight of refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers. These members have prepared a document which has been distributed widely and is being lobbied with what we believe are more reasonable and humane proposals. It is acceptable practice for members of the ANC to lobby and debate policy positions, but is fruitless if certain government officials have already decided and begun implementing un-adopted policies. We reject this and will be writing a letter to the ANC leadership, which will be signed by ANC members, calling on the leadership to intervene and stop the department and its leadership from denying the ANC membership its right to debate policies.
For comment please contact:
Anthony Muteti on 0843510388 or Braam Hanekom on 0843191764