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ANC intolerant to public criticism

01 February 2013, 22:19

For a while now, I have been following the propagandist statements issued by Jackson Mthembu on his organisational capacity as the national spokesperson of the African National Congress (ANC) with a keen interest. He has had a go at various voices that sought to hold the ANC-led government accountable, especially President Jacob Zuma, whose systematically flawed, directionless and erratic leadership has continually leapfrogged our country from crisis to another.

It is clear that the Zuma-led ANC is intolerant to public criticism so much that it has now resorted into bullish politics to silence its critics. This is typically an early glimpse of most ruling parties in Africa, failing to deliver on their promises, but want to retain power, even if it comes with bloodshed.

In light of this context, the First National Bank (FNB) ‘you can help’ campaign bears a classic example of the ANC’s intolerability to public criticism. The views expressed in this campaign are truly representative of the groundswell across all demographics in our country. The suppression of public voices started with the Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza and has now extended to Parliament, which has of lately become nothing but a joke.  Hence the report released by the National Planning Commission (NPC) impeccably states that the Parliament has failed to carry out its most basic role of overseeing the chain of responsibility.

Another classic example of the ANC’s intolerability to public criticism is that of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, whom Mthembu said she is “…so naïve when it comes to African traditions that she cannot relate to them. It is our tradition as Africans that if someone gives you something, in return you thank him/her and wish them prosperity and abundance.” This is after Mazibuko had urged Zuma to retract his statement that businesses that support ANC will prosper. As it is a case with the state propagandist New Age newspaper, with its series of multimillion-state-funded breakfasts, is prospering as it supports the ANC. Nebulously, Mthembu’s statement insinuate that it is African practice to engage in corrupt dealings.

With respect to the call made by the Congress of the People (COPE) President Mosiua Lekota for an impeachment of President Zuma, citing among others, his failure to “lead the executive to fulfil the ruling of the judiciary,” which was clearly exemplified by his defiance of a court order “to hand over the abbreviated transcripts of the [so-called spy] tapes.” Shrugging off the call, Mthembu said it is ‘disingenuous’ and “consistent with his personal hatred of President Zuma.” Meanwhile, it is under his tenure we have shockingly seen among others, the reversal of apartheid like massacre at Marikana, corrupting spreading at the fastest rate ever in the public sector and overall lack of accountable leadership, which have collectively given credence to a growing view that ever since he became State President, our beloved country has continually leapfrogged from one crisis to another, but warrant his impeachment.

Mthembu and the ANC undermine our understanding of politics.

Molifi Tshabalala

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