Ralph Mathekga

ANC members must find refuge elsewhere

2017-04-03 08:30

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Now that some senior ANC members have openly come to terms with the fact that President Jacob Zuma is a lone ranger in charge of the party, it remains to be seen as to whether those they will seek refuge outside their party.

When the secretary general of the party Gwede Mantashe announces on radio that Mr. Zuma did not consult them about his cabinet reshuffle, it is clear that there is no space to raise such concerns within the party. President Zuma has closed ranks on his fellow comrades within the party, and the only option to fight him is outside the party.

The SACP has been openly defiant against Zuma who has not yet captured this party. They therefore provides a good platform for those ANC members who have been displaced within their own party. They can now seek refuge within the SACP and use the platform to hit back at Zuma and his crew who occupy key positions within the ANC. 

The question is whether disgruntled senior ANC members will swallow their pride and work through the SACP in order to fight battles in the ANC. The pro-Zuma lobby within the SACP is not as strong as it is within the ANC. However, it would take a great deal of introspection for ANC members to admit that they need their fellow comrades within the SACP to rescue them from the clutches of patronage within the ANC.

The SACP rescue option is a more dignified avenue to save ANC members from Zuma than having to utilise the opposition party platform to deal with this matter.

Having realised that ANC members are stranded within their increasingly dysfunctional broad church for all, the opposition parties are throwing a lifeline to them, in the form of a motion of no confidence against Zuma.

This is a poisoned chalice, which could become a major problem for the ANC in the future. When the opposition throws you a rope so as to help you out, the first thing that comes to mind is whether it’s a lifeline rope or a noose through which you will eventually be hanged. 

A motion of no confidence against Zuma is a good idea, but only for the opposition parties. It could turn out to be very humiliating for ANC members to join in on this platform as a way to remove Zuma. It says that the ANC is so hopeless that it took the opposition parties to save the party from itself.

Mind you, it is not in the interest of the opposition parties to help the ANC. What the opposition wants is to ensure that the ANC is seen for what is it, a party in paralysis. By bating the ANC with a motion of no confidence against Zuma, opposition parties are nicely setting up it to eat a humble opposition pie.

Imagine the ANC having to vote with the DA against Zuma. Add to the picture Zille’s comments that colonialism was not all bad. Then sum it up this way: the ANC gets rescue from colonial denialists. This isn’t a good picture at all, no matter how much ANC have had it with Zuma.

This is the reason why it would be better for ANC to focus on mobilising their dissent through the SACP, even if they have some differences on some issues. The SACP option would constitute a compassionate corrective opportunity for the ANC.

If ANC members accept rescue from opposition, they will always be reminded that they cannot stand on their own, which is true. But nobody wants to be constantly reminded of such uncomfortable truth. 

In any case, ANC members would be well advised never to give blind support to any leader in the future, no matter how good a dancer and a singer he or she might be. If the party members heed this advise, they never had to worry about the question as to which rescue mission is more dignified than the other.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. 

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