ANC leadership must prove itself credible

2018-01-21 05:43
Cyril Ramaphosa. (GULSHAN KHAN / AFP)

Cyril Ramaphosa. (GULSHAN KHAN / AFP)

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Now that the highly anticipated and fiercely contested elective conference is behind us, the mood in the country has been very jovial since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of the ANC.

It is particularly encouraging that this development is welcomed and celebrated by many people across the racial, political, gender and tribal spectrum in our country and beyond.

There is no doubt that the election of Ramaphosa to lead the ANC signals the beginning of an
all-important project to unite South Africans and restore the ANC’s position as a leader of a nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous society. The question on everyone’s mind is whether the ANC membership and new leadership will respond adequately and positively to Ramaphosa’s unequivocal call for unity and cohesion within the ANC.

One cannot marvel but to ask if unity and cohesion within the ANC will prevail henceforth.

This is a task easier said than done, considering the myriad sociopolitical challenges besetting the ANC. It is therefore vital that new leadership identifies the causes of the current divisions in the ANC to find sustainable solutions.

One of the factors responsible for divisions in the ANC is the politics of patronage and rewarding mediocrity. The new leadership should rebut the deployment of incompetent, rogue and incorrigible cadres into key positions in government and the ANC. This practice has left the ANC fractured and is responsible for the dysfunctionality of many government departments and state-owned institutions.

It was almost dogma within the ANC that leaders from majority tribes were more capable than those from minority tribes – such as Tshivenda- and Xitsonga-speaking people.

This has been proved to be a delusion, now that for the first time the ANC has a Tshivenda-speaking president in Ramaphosa. The capacity and capability to lead a glorious movement of the ANC’s calibre should never be defined in tribal terms.

Equally important is that Ramaphosa and the new leadership must destroy the demon of racism which has become prevalent in the ANC. The marginalisation and suppression of certain leaders and their views within the ANC simply because of their racial identity must come to an end. It is incumbent on the new leadership to foster and promote multiracial teams.

The ANC should root out sexism and patriarchy within its ranks through genuine and credible empowerment of women. Women in the ANC should be treated equally, irrespective of their political connections, tribal origin or racial identity.

For unity and cohesion to prevail in the ANC, there must be equality accorded to all leaders and activists, irrespective of whether they were in exile or served within the mass democratic movement during the fight against apartheid. The preferment and hero worshipping of elite families in the ANC should not be tolerated as it is divisive and backward.

The new leadership should embrace, nurture and nurse the spirit of optimism that is reverberating throughout the country. In this way, the ANC will be on a firm pedestal towards renewal and revival to restore public confidence in its ability to create a better life for all ad infinitum.

Chief Matsila is a member of the ANC in good standing

Read more on:    anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  leadership

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