It’s not about change, it’s about power

2008-10-18 00:00

South Africa has been and continues to be a beacon of light, not just for the African continent but for the world. Regardless of the challenges the country continues to face, it’s unlikely that we will live up to Africa’s reputation.

The cancer that is eating into the flesh and bones of the African National Congress needs to be eliminated or the party will pay a heavy price, not just in the upcoming elections but also with its very existence.

As suggestions of the establishment of a breakaway party by disgruntled members of the ANC gain ground, one starts to appreciate the decision by members of the ANC to recall former state president Thabo Mbeki.

Because the ANC turned a corner in Polokwane when the new party leadership was elected, I suggest the convention should be held there because the democratic processes that took place there are what precipitated the formation of this new party.

Reactions by former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota and his deputy Mluleki George to call a national convention and thereafter start a new political party in protest of the ANC’s decision to recall Mbeki confirm a number of suspicions that some of us have held about governance under the Mbeki regime.

The party Lekota and company are pushing for has Mbeki written all over it. Although he has not openly supported the move for a breakaway party, he has also not spoken against it.

When Mbeki resigned, he spoke about how he had dedicated more than 50 years of his life to the ANC and how he has been a lifelong servant of the organisation.

Silence means consent and Mbeki’s silence not only shows his level of selfishness but also that of his former lieutenants. They are telling everyone that if they are not in charge of the ANC, there will be no ANC.

There was the party long before these delinquents took charge of the party and there will be a party way after they are gone.

There was never a more timely decision than to recall Mbeki when the ANC did. By recalling Mbeki, who looked more like Robert Mugabe’s understudy, the ANC succeeded where Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF failed in disempowering a dictator-wannabe.

What Lekota is trying to change has nothing to do with the way the ANC has been doing things but everything to do with trying to get back into power, something the South African public should not allow him to do.

History is the ultimate judge and I do not see history letting them off the hook.

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