Flash Briefing: ANC factions a threat to SA democracy; ANC calls for Covid grant extension; DA sexual assault scandal

  • The ANC factions and deepening divisions within the party remain the biggest threat to the party and the country’s democratic gains. This was a warning shot by the party’s leaders, who cautioned about counter-revolutionary threats within the governing party. The ANC held a two-day Lekgotla at the weekend. In giving an outline of the Lekgotla’s recommendations, the president of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, said the decay and deprivation of the party remained a concern. In his closing remarks at the Lekgotla, Ramaphosa said: “The threat to our democratic gains is also a result of an era of loss of moral and ethical principles within the congress movement. We need to show determination in addressing the toxic legacy of state capture, resulting in weakened security institutions. Divisions and factions in the ANC are becoming a threat to our democracy.”
  • The ANC has called for the extension of the R350 Covid-19 grant introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. President Ramaphosa said that this grant has had a significant positive impact on the lives of the poor, and government must examine the feasibility and affordability of extending it. The social relief grant was first instituted in May 2020 to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and is currently due to be stopped in March 2022. It was meant to be a short-term measure and was stopped in October 2020 after running for six months. Ramaphosa decided to reinstate it following widespread riots and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July last year.
  • Nine months into his tenure as the DA’s leader in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz has asked his party bosses to allow him to step aside to deal with a sexual assault scandal. Fritz, who served as Western Cape Community Safety MEC, was suspended following serious allegations of sexual assault that were levelled against him by young employees. Premier Alan Winde announced Fritz’s suspension late on Sunday evening without divulging the reasons for the decision. “He allegedly sexually assaulted young female workers in his office,” said a direct source who has knowledge of the suspension.
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