Terrorism and violenceEdit

During its days in exile, the ANC was often criticised by western governments who shared the South African government's characterization of the group as a terrorist organization. Several high-profile anti-Apartheid activists such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu criticized the ANC for its willingness to resort to violence, arguing that tactics of non-violent resistance, such as civil disobedience were more productive. The ANC's willingness to ally with Communists was also the subject of both foreign and domestic criticism. A Pentagon report of the late 1980s described the ANC as "a major terrorist organization". Several hardline black nationalists were also critical of the ANC's willingness to embrace whites as equals, even allowing them to serve on the group's executive committee.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu criticized the Party List system in a speech given in 2004 as discouraging debate and encouraging patronage within the ANC. He also singled out business deals that favour the "recycled few" in Black Economic Empowerment deals instead of the poor majority.

Party and State conflictEdit

The ANC has been heavily criticized for awarding large state contracts, involving tens of billions of Rands, to its party funding vehicle, Chancellor House. At times, the decision to award the contract was made by the same state employees who sit on the ANC fundraising committee. Chancellor House is named after Mandela's former work premises.

Controversy over corrupt membersEdit

Another accusation frequently levelled against the ANC is that they protect their high-ranking members in the face of controversy, and as such are seen as supporting criminal behaviour. Recent issues of this nature include the Schabir Shaik fraud trial linked to former Deputy President Jacob Zuma, the sexual misconduct and criminal charges of Beaufort West municipal manager Truman Prince,[1] and the Oilgate scandal, in which millions of Rand in funds from a state-owned company were allegedly funneled into ANC coffers.[2] Links between factions in the ANC, specifically the ANC Youth League leadership, and businessman Brett Kebble gained media attention following Kebble's murder in September 2005.

In December 2007 the ANC elected their new National Executive Committee (NEC), the highest structure in the party. Out of the 80 member committee, 16% are (post-apartheid) convicted criminals. Most of these members have been convicted of fraud, while one member, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was convicted of the kidnapping of a 14-year old boy (who was also murdered). According to an article in the Mail & Guardian, "by adding those who have been disciplined or moved, and those with dark clouds of unanswered questions hanging over their heads, the figure shifts to 29%."[3]

The Directorate of Special Operations (also, DSO or Scorpions) is a multidisciplinary agency that investigates and prosecutes organized crime and corruption. It is a unit of The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa. The staff of 2000 Scorpions consist of the best police, financial, forensic and intelligence experts of South Africa.

After allegations of corruption, the ANC decided to merge the Scorpions with the Police by June 2008, reducing their power.[1] The disbandment was recommended by South Africa's minister of safety and security, Charles Nqakula.[2] This has been opposed by businesses in South Africa. [3]

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