Best of Voices: Inside the ANC's culture of dirty politics

2017-08-03 15:39
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. (Deon Raath, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. (Deon Raath, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

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It is the root of the ANC’s malaise. It explains the rise of the Gupta family, and the ANC’s incapacity to deal with them or President Jacob Zuma, even though they know this will cost them at the polls. It is crucial to understanding the presidential race. And it tells you what kind of ANC we will likely have in the foreseeable future.

It is summed up in this quote from a person close to Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign: “Nobody donates money to the ANC for philanthropic reasons, or because they love the party or what it stands for. It is all about what you can get back if you contribute to the party or back a winning candidate. Every rand we get comes with a payback expectation,” writes Anton Harber.

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Helpmekaar: Freedom of expression also protects biased opinions

The Constitution, in section 16(1), recognises the right to freedom of expression – and that includes biased, stereotypical perceptions, such as Rams Mabote’s article – and the press provides a platform for the exchange of diverse opinions. As much as Mabote’s right to express his view is protected, the view of former students challenging his uninformed assumptions are protected. 

The limit however, is that the right to freedom of expression does not include hate speech, as narrowly defined in the Constitution. Fortunately for Mabote, his article does not amount to “advocacy of hatred” based on race “which constitutes incitement to harm”.  

His article perhaps does raise the point that there appears to be a need to openly discuss what ‘transformation’ in South Africa means, and especially why speaking Afrikaans, and wishing to attend an Afrikaans school, is considered a barrier to his perception of ‘transformation’, asks Christine Botha.

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If Jeff Radebe was a woman he would never be president

Every August, the nation rightly pays tribute to the brave women who brought the country to a standstill by marching against oppressive laws in 1956. We also use this month to draw attention to the strides made by women since the advent of democracy and to take stock of the challenges that still stand in the way of women advancement.

This is also the month when Susan Shabangu, the Minister of Women in the Presidency makes her annual appearance on the national stage as she will give countless speeches and cite an array of statistics as she seeks to convince us that she is worth the taxpayer funds spent on her. 

In this endeavour, she will predictably be joined by Bathabile Dlamini, the president of the ANC Women's League who is on a mission to drum up support for Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ahead of the party's elective conference in December, writes Mondli Zondo.

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