Jacob Zuma is not a fool. He has management to get Africa’s oldest liberation movement to become a tool for his protection. Whatever he does – whether it is his friend the Gupta’s landing their planes at military key points within impunity or a hideous compound built for him at R 208 million, the man got the party rushing to do his bidding.
Which ANC is this?
How can an organization that refused a personality cult around Nelson Mandela allow itself to become a mere tool in the hands of Zuma? How its leaders can cast aside the party’s historical mission – to transform the lives of millions of poor black people and built a united, non-racial, prosperous and democratic country – to simply become gophers of Zuma?
Yet that is what the party’s 86 member national executive has become.
ANC MP’s are now introducing legislation that is aimed solely for protecting this one man.
Across the land, provincial leaders hobble state machinery merely to protect and keep this one compromised leaders out of jail and in power.
It is an incredible sight.
Once proud leaders who served the nation in exile, UFM and in trade unions now scrape and bow before one man.
The ANC no longer has leaders, it has zombies who mindlessly follow the leader and do his bidding.
It is quite extraordinary!
What has happened to the culture of debate and contestation that once permeated this movement?
What happened to the pride that made this one great organization stand up and expel people who muddied its name?
How can this lot walk in the shoes of Albert Luthuli, AP Mda, Anton Lembese and Prixley Kalsalia Seme?
So as we look at the extraordinary lengths that the ANC’s current leadership has gone to defend an embarrassment of a leader whose entire family seems to be infused by a shocking culture of entitlement – Zuma’s brother, Michael, last week admitted using his name to swing tenders to his benefactors – we have to ask – where is the ANC?
The answer is heartbreaking: The ANC is compromised, it is lost.
It has lost its moral compass and it leadership of society. The man at its head is a reflection of what the party is: ill disciplined, compromised and unprincipled.
The desperation one sees among the ANC leaders is a reflection of this. When a man as widely admired as Cyril Ramaphosa, has no other argument than “the Boers will return” then you know that this is a movement that is both intellectually and morally bankrupt. The emperor and his lieutenants have no clothes.
And so we will remember the reign of Zuma – we will remember it not for its achievements but for the cowardice, callowness and bankruptcy of the leadership that he brought with him. We will remember his lackeys for their bowing and scraping and their destruction of the continent’s greatest liberation movement.
What an ignominious (humiliating, embarrassing, discomfiting, shameful, disgraceful, reprehensible, dishonorable, disreputable, discreditable) end for the part of Mandela.