Khaya Dlanga

The ANC will destroy itself

2015-08-06 11:14

Khaya Dlanga

The ANC seems hell-bent on destroying itself, and disappointingly, it's the stalwarts who are busy doing it. Yet we cannot just blame them alone because young people are not doing anything either, to not only save it, but transform it into a modern organisation.

We have completely abandoned our own responsibility to the party. Partly because young people feel unwanted and unneeded, except for when the elections are close.

Suddenly, the ANC is robust with young people who are called in to help stem the tide against losing the youth vote. The party cannot continue this way.

This is the ANC's least ballsiest era. It does not matter where one turns, one always hears from old ANC stalwarts that the organisation is not what they know. Yet they do nothing nor say anything. Yes, it will be said that issues are dealt with internally, yet nothing is resolved internally.

The old-timers are satisfied with lamenting its disintegration. It may be unfair to say that they are satisfied. Maybe they are old and tired. They have fought for a long time and are done and as Tina Turner sings, "I don’t want fight no more".

Yet there we see many of them standing on the pulpit defending what should not be defended. By all means, what the Public Protector has to say is not gospel nor is it dogma. It has to be questioned and scrutinised to ensure fairness. There is one thing that defines the ANC in public discourse for the last few years – Nkandla – it is a shame.

The ANC has now been forced to use its manpower and resources to talk about, discuss and focus on one thing –Nkandla. Even the president is sick and tired of it as we saw him a few months ago when he rolled his eyes like a model C school girl, to paraphrase Trevor Noah. If he is sick, can you imagine how sick we must be?

The local government elections are coming up next year and the more the ANC and the president refuse to pay, the more the EFF and other parties are going to play this up and the more difficult it will be for the ANC to drown out the noise about Nkandla.

It is a stupid and strategic error. This should have been resolved a long time ago, instead outsized resources are being used to defend what most people believe does not deserve the kind of robust defence it has been getting.

It becomes really embarrassing to see people's fathers and mothers standing there defending something that they too seem to be embarrassed about. And yet people must look to where their bread is buttered and they do what they are told. We live in a sad time.

How has this organisation that many of us have loved for such a long time become what it has become? How have the people who served it and suffered for it for so long turned it into what it has become? They defend Nkandla like the president is actually doing us a favour, as someone said.

It has always been an organisation that has been willing to force tough changes when it needed to. There was a time when the overwhelming school of thought was to ensure that the party was purely an Africanist one. No Indians or whites or communists.

Yet the ANC changed because it knew that it needed everyone to fight the evil of apartheid. The ANC was also against the use of force as part of its arsenal to fight against the apartheid regime. As we all now know, the ANC finally decided to form a military wing known as Umkhonto Wesizwe.

What are the old guys teaching us when they defend the indefensible? How do they expect to be respected? No wonder people like Julius Malema and his ilk, as they say in Xhosa, benyuka bezihlela kuZuma, and the whole parliamentary process, they feel disrespected just like we are.

Whatever one may say about EFF, that they lack respect, they are exposing a fallacy that is defended by people who know that they are defending what they should not be defending.

Many young people have lost respect for people they respected. Some of our young people are in cahoots with the old-timers who are determined to make this party a conveyor belt, where everyone must wait their turn. The ANC needs to be saved from itself. It is at a crossroads. The ANC will not and cannot be destroyed by the EFF or the DA. It will destroy itself.

If ANC leaders had any balls, they would do what needs to be done. Get rid of the old guard and inject new blood. Yet we know that won’t happen because they are all waiting their turn. Since the old guard won’t remove themselves, perhaps we should think about what Gloria Steinem when she was a prominent leader of the feminist movement in the 60s, "Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself." The old-timers are not going to give power to the young.

The old guys are defending the indefensible at all costs, and in the process are destroying an organisation we loved at all costs. What will we say to our own children when they ask, "Where were you when the ANC destroyed itself?

- Follow Khaya on Twitter.

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