Comrade vs comrade

2008-10-04 00:00

In the wake of Thabo Mbeki’s ousting, the week has seen more rocking of the African National Congress boat as party heavyweights reposition themselves. On Monday, Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa resigned, bringing upon himself the wrath of the party and Cosatu, of which he was once general secretary. Next, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe set about lambasting former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota for his observation that the ANC has shifted away from its bedrock political policies and democratic values. If confirmation were needed of Lekota’s claim that dissenting voices are being “hounded out” and “purged” from the organisation, it is provided by the angry demand that people such as himself and Shilowa — once respected as great stalwarts of the struggle — should get out of the party altogether.

There is some validity in Radebe’s counter that the ANC is a voluntary organisation that people are free to leave, but that ducks the issue. The fact is that significant criticisms have been raised and the party, with its tradition of broad inclusiveness, has been unable to deal with them internally. The cracks are widening into rifts and the momentum for a breakaway is growing.

Commentators are generally sceptical about that possibility. Certainly a better balance between government and opposition would benefit the country, but no breakaway grouping is likely to mount a serious challenge to the ruling party. Even so, the ANC is not a happy ship. It is listing badly and its troubles are hurting both its own constituency and the country at large.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.