Chasok, disorder and a free-for-all in the ranks

2008-08-23 00:00

As South Africa’s political party in the government forges ahead, not with the country’s president Thabo Mbeki in the driving seat but with its president Jacob Zuma, the remnants of the Zuma-Mbeki power struggle continue to plague the party. This is happening during one of the most critical times on the political calendar of the national and provincial elections that take place every five years.

The chaos and disorder that characterised the African National Congress (ANC) before, during and after its national leadership elective conference in Polokwane continue in the form of a “free-for-all” approach by its members and officials.

Opposition parties have proved that they do not have the strength to steal the numbers from the ANC but the latter has shown that the only threat that exists is posed by itself, towards itself.

The recent suggestion by the ANC Youth League that Amanzimtoti should be renamed Andrew Zondo is a case in point. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that Zuma’s support stronghold is in KwaZulu-Natal and to appreciate how passionate the people of this province are to things that they hold near and dear to their hearts.

And if the leader of the ANCYL had any IQ to speak of, he would have not made these remarks, even as a suggestion, as it is tantamount to treason against the Zulu nation.

How dare he insinuate that the Zulu King Shaka was a colonialist and that he belongs to the rubbish bin of history? Does he not realise that Zulus are Zulus first, and then, for those who are politically aligned, are members of the ANC and other political parties. This includes JZ supporters. The day when the ANCYL leader asks them to choose will be the day when he sees how insignificant the ANC is to the Zulu culture.

When the Gert Sibande Municipality in Mpumalanga Province spent R22 million on a play and millions more on a statue in honour of a struggle stalwart who dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of farm workers, it was a clear indication of how certain elements within the ruling party had milked state coffers for their own selfish means.

The same people that the municipality had been fighting for continue to struggle with disease, they have no water or housing and unemployment and crime are rife.

It would be wrong to blame playwright Mbongeni Ngema, because as a businessman he responded to a tender for the play. Whether the process was rigged is not in question because the tender will make no difference to the reality of life in Mpumalanga.

If opposition parties make no headway in the next elections, they will have robbed the country of one of the cornerstones of a fledgling democracy, which is a strong opposition and watchdog in Parliament.

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