South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Conference​

Report of the Secretary General

4: Activities of the National Executive Committee

17 December 1997

The National Executive Committee, the highest decision-making structure of the organisation between National Conferences, executed its functions as stipulated by the Constitution. The NEC provided direction and leadership to the organisation, and NEC members generally performed the tasks expected of them with commitment and enthusiasm.

NEC Members elected at 49th National Conference
National Chairperson Jacob Zuma
President Nelson Mandela
Deputy President Thabo Mbeki
Secretary General Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy Secretary General Cheryl Carolus
Treasurer General Arnold Stofile
Kader Asmal
Sibusiso Bengu
Thozamile Botha
Jeremy Cronin
Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim
Alec Erwin
Frene Ginwala
John Gomomo
Harry Gwala
Derek Hanekom
Limpho Hani
Bantu Holomisa
Lulu Johnson
Pallo Jordan
Ronnie Kasrils
Ahmed Kathrada
Baleka Kgositsile
Terror Lekota
Saki Macozoma
Penuell Maduna
Mac Maharaj
Winnie Mandela
Trevor Manuel
Mavivi Manzini
Gill Marcus
Moses Mayekiso
Tito Mboweni
Raymond Mhlaba
Wilton Mkwayi
Joe Modise
Thandi Modise
Peter Mokaba
Ruth Mompati
Mohamed Valli Moosa
Linda Mti
Thenjiwe Mtintso
Sydney Mufamadi
S`bu Ndebele
Joel Netshitenzhe
Smuts Ngonyama
Joe Nhlanhla
Carl Niehaus
Sankie Nkondo
Charles Nqakula
Blade Nzimande
Alfred Nzo
Dullah Omar
Essop Pahad
Aziz Pahad
Jeff Radebe
Sam Shilowa
Stella Sigcau
Max Sisulu
Zola Skweyiya
Joe Slovo
Raymond Suttner
Adelaide Tambo
Steve Tshwete
Tony Yengeni
Nkosazana Zuma
Ex-officio NEC members at the time of the 49th National Conference
Tokyo Sexwale
Paul Mashatile
Mathews Phosa
Solly Zwane
Ngoako Ramthlodi
Collins Chabane
Popo Molefe
Ndleleni Duma
Chris Nissen
James Ngculu
Dumisani Mafu
Bongani Gxilishe
Manne Dipico
Willie Steenkamp
Senzo Mchunu
Pat Matosa
Kaizer Sebothelo
Current ex-officio NEC members
Mathole Motshekga
Paul Mashatile
Mathews Phosa
Solly Zwane
George Mashamba
Collins Chabane
Popo Molefe
Ndleleleni Duma
James Ngculu
Humphrey Maxegwana
Manne Dipico
John Block
Sipho Gcabashe
Zingile Dingani
Sello Dithebe
Bathabile Dlamini
Malusi Gigaba
Febe Potgieter

NEC Meetings

Meetings of the NEC were held according to the requirements of the Constitution. The NEC also met as required by political or organisational circumstances. The NEC met on the following dates:


25-26 February
24-25 April
21-23 July
2-3 September
29-30 September
8-9 December


9 February
23-24 March
11-12 May
16-18 August
30 September
9-10 November


16-19 January
11-13 April
11-13 July
2 November
14-15 November

Critical areas of deliberation in the NEC included:

  • the election of the National Working Committee;
  • the appointment of NEC Committees;
  • the adoption of strategic plans and programmes of work on an annual basis;
  • the development each year of the January 8th Statement;
  • annual evaluation of the state of organisation and performance in government;
  • supervision of local government elections;
  • political oversight of the constitutional development process and the sucessful adoption of the final constitution;
  • discussion on reports of NEC Committees, their recommendations and their work;
  • receiving reports and considering recommendations from the NWC, the Leagues and other ANC components.

The agenda of NEC meetings typically focused on three core areas – a political overview; organisational matters and governance matters. Other than in exceptional cases, all issues discussed at NEC level were processed through the NWC or relevant NEC Committee.

Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe Conferment

The Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe was awarded to Cde Joe Slovo at the 49th National Conference in Bloemfontein in December 1994. The medal was posthumously handed over to Cde Slovo`s family.


The Secretary General`s Report to the 1994 National Conference omitted the name of cde Ahmed Kathrada as one of the recipients of the Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe award at the 80th Anniversary of the ANC in Bloemfontein in January 1992. The error is regretted.

Commissions appointed by the NEC

As part of its function, the NEC established the following commissions of inquiry into issues which required detailed attention:

  • Mti Commission into the ANC Women`s League
  • Commission of Inquiry regarding Cde Vax Mayekiso

NEC Resignations

The following comrades resigned from the NEC during the period under review. The NEC accepted their resignation with regret:

  • Thozamile Botha
  • John Gomomo
  • Sam Shilowa

Cde Cyril Ramaphosa resigned as Secretary General effective from the finalisation of the new Constitution. The NEC appointed Cde Cheryl Carolus as Acting Secretary General until National Conference.

Cooption of additional members

The following comrades were co-opted by the NEC:

  • Brigitte Mabandla
  • Thoko Msane Didiza
  • Nosiviwe Maphisa Nqakula
  • Chris Dlamini

NEC Expulsions

The NEC meeting of 30 September 1996 upheld the decision of the National Disciplinary Committee to expel NEC member Bantu Holomisa from the ANC, for bringing the organisation into disrepute.


The NEC, and the movement, was deprived of the valued contributions of the following comrades:

  • Joe Slovo, died on 5 January 1995
  • Harry Gwala, died on 20 June 1995

Inactive due to diplomatic postings

The following comrades were posted to diplomatic missions abroad during the course of their term of office, and were therefore unable to continue participating in NEC activities:

  • Chris Dlamini
  • Raymond Mhlaba
  • Ruth Mompati
  • Carl Niehaus
  • Raymond Suttner

Functioning of the NEC

The NEC generally met at least four times a year on dates scheduled at the beginning of each year. The NEC was on a number of occassions, however, convened on short notice to address pressing matters.

Some NEC members found it difficult to attend regularly due to other commitments, especially travel on government business.

The link with provinces and the voice of provinces can be strengthened in the NEC through more effective deployment of NEC members and ensuring a much better spread of provinces in the election of NEC members. The provinces also need to provide more effective feedback on the perfomance of NEC members deployed to their province.

Members of the NEC have thus far only been deployed geographically – to provinces. Serious consideration needs to be given to sectoral deployment to bolster the ANC`s commitment to building better relations and communication with civil society in general and the democratic forces in particular.


The National Working Committee, elected by the NEC in February 1995, met fortnightly for the duration of its term of office. The NWC was responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the organisation at a national level, for coordinating the work of the NEC and the NEC committees, and overseeing the implementation of NEC decisions.

The NWC played a hands-on role during the writing of the new Constitution, and was called upon to resolve numerous pressing matters on an ad hoc basis. The NWC often had to take decisive action to preserve the integrity and unity of the organisation. All NWC decisions were reported to the NEC, and subject to the NEC`s approval.

The National Working Committee:
Nelson Mandela

Deputy President
Thabo Mbeki

National Chairperson
Jacob Zuma

Secretary General
Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy Secretary General
Cheryl Carolus

Treasurer General
Arnold Stofile

Women`s League President
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Youth League President
Lulu Johnson (later Malusi Gigaba)


Blade Nzimande

Dullah Omar (Resigned after election as Western Cape Chairperson)

Frene Ginwala

Gill Marcus

Joel Netshitenzhe

Mac Maharaj

Nkosazana Zuma

Pallo Jordan

Saki Macozoma

Steve Tshwete

Thenjiwe Mtintso

Tito Mboweni (Coopted by the NWC)

Sydney Mufamadi (Coopted by the NWC)

A large number of NWC members had other major responsibilities, while some members` responsibilities increased during their term. This obviously had an impact on the functioning of the NWC. In part, this was a result of an NEC whose members were generally over-extended.

NEC Committees

The NEC established a number of Committees to facilitate the coordination of organisational and policy matters. This was a major initiative in restructuring the work of the NEC. The performance of these committees has been varied, although most have managed to meet regularly and impact on the effectiveness of the NEC.

The NEC Committees and the Chairs are:

Legislatures and Governance
Frene Ginwala

Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini

Economic Transformation
Tito Mboweni

Social Transformation
Nkosazana Zuma

Consitutional Commission
Mac Maharaj, Dullah Omar

Pallo Jordan

Peace and Stability
Thandi Modise, later Sydney Mufamadi

International Affairs
Blade Nzimande

Jeremy Cronin

Kader Asmal

Political Education
Joel Netshitenzhe

Elections Commission
Saki Macozoma

Religious Commission
Smangaliso Mkhatshwa

Makhenkesi Stofile

Administrative Matters
Cyril Ramaphosa