My parents got divorced after 30 years of marriage when all their children had left the nest, armed with qualifications and eyes firmly on their own futures.
When considering the current divorce rate, it’s also evident that most of them, in this country anyway, occur with people between the age of 40 and 60, being people that have been married for 15 years plus, and in most of their opinions, quite some time too long.
The reason, I think, is that some marriages reach a stage where the relationship is purely based on being mutually beneficial, be it to raise children, and see them through university, building an estate that can sustain both parties and in general, watch out for each other whilst making their way through life.
However, at some stage, the relationship loses its ability to be beneficial to both parties and one starts taking advantage of the other. Although they keep at it, sometimes even for years, they eventually reach an impasse influential enough, for at least one party to yank back the reigns, and call it quits.
As far back as anyone could remember, COSATU and the ANC had been this couple. Sometimes openly challenging one another, but when push came to shove, they mostly backed their respective decisions, policies and elections.
Recently however, that relationship seems to have had one counselling session too many, especially if the conference during mid 2011 is considered, coupled with the recent anti e-tolling marches COSATU embarked on.
Throw in the criticism on the Youth League, poor service delivery, corruption and Vavi’s general point of view of where the ANC leadership is taking the country, and the first true cracks in their alliance is becoming more and more visible.
Now, the one thing one needs to consider here is that COSATU’s grievances aren’t necessarily pointed towards the ANC as a body, but towards the current leadership in the ruling party. The question arises whether the above would suffice in bringing about the final straw, and cause political divorce?
Maybe it depends on how far COSATU is willing to go with its open critic on some ANC decisions and its willingness to be milked for votes and support once again, shortly before the next election, in an effort to regain that two third majority.
Personally, as someone who has no intimate knowledge of what’s going on in the bedroom between the two, I can only speculate. What I do however know, is that promises can only remain broken for so long, before even decade long spouses are willing to call it a day.
I suppose most of it is reliant on policy, as COSATU no longer, truly wants to support a one party state (although they won’t admit it quite just yet), who only buys them roses and candle lit dinners, before vital times such as Mangaung and the following election in a couple of years.
I mean, who else will they really support with no real alternative? Maybe COSATU believes they need to be romanced again, and know that the only way in achieving this, is playing the jealous card, with someone else on the horizon...
Only time will tell, but it will most certainly show that no one can be married long enough to be safe, especially not in the political arena.