Are these the ANC’s saviours?

2016-10-02 06:03
Makhosi Khoza, Member of Parliament serving on the finance committee.

Makhosi Khoza, Member of Parliament serving on the finance committee.

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There is a host of worthy cadres who can restore the party to its former glory, writes Benedict Dube

The current slate of leadership is chiselling the ANC beyond recognition.

Instead of progressing, the once-mighty revolutionary organisation and – for the first few years of democracy – dignified governing party has regressed to a shadow of its former self.

In doing so, it seems to be succumbing to the basic definition of dialectics: “A general theory of how things came into existence, change and die out.”

Neither a special national consultative conference nor an early elective one can be the panacea for the plethora of ills afflicting the party.

Chances are, those who attend these gatherings will experience a room “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, as Shakespeare so eloquently puts it.

To continue the classical metaphor, they will be like the Greek mythological king Sisyphus – punished by the gods for his self-aggrandisement by having to endlessly push a boulder up the hill, only to see it roll back down again.

The survival and subsequent reincarnation of the ANC hinges on people with proper leadership qualities being elected to top positions.

It must be understood by party loyalists that factionalism will destroy the organisation.

The primary purpose of factionalists is to devour what is left of the ANC’s soul for their own satisfaction. They do not care about the ethical and moral ineptitude of their candidates.

The black part of the ANC’s tricolour flag symbolises the people of South Africa who, for generations, have fought for freedom.

It is a remarkable affirmation of the movement that it was not only the party’s R20 card-carrying members who gave it the responsibility of governing our country.

People from all walks of life, moved by the ideals of its venerable leaders, voted the ANC into power in 1994.

Its current deplorable internal affairs have resulted in many of these very people either abstaining from voting or placing their confidence with a rival party.

This was made crystal clear in the August local government elections.

In so doing, many voters showed that they were no longer persuaded by historical obligations and promptly debunked the liberation struggle nostalgia they had been fed over the past 20 years.

Stomach-churning acts by the party – notably, its defence of Nkandla; Nenegate; and, most recently, the state security agency’s flouting of constitutional principles of openness by jamming feeds from Parliament during last year’s state of the nation address – have elicited a pertinent question: Are there any virtuous leaders left in the ANC?

Yes, is my response.

Here are some of those worthy of leadership positions:

Makhosi Khoza, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Baso Sangqu, Lassy Chiwayo, Dennis Thokozani Dlomo, Bheki Khumalo, Mahlengi Bhengu, Mpho Scott, Lincoln Mali, Rapu Molekane, Kota Nomfanelo, Kgaogelo Lekgoro, Cyril Xaba, Kgomotso Masebelanga, Hope Papo, Mfundo Nkuhlu, Robinson Ramaite, Bulumko Nelana and Moss Mashishi, to name a few. The list is endless.

These cadres are patriotic, humble, principled, fair, incorruptible and nonfactionalist – a rare breed in today’s ANC.

Most of those mentioned above are products of the 1980s youth detachment group of anti-apartheid activists.

Leaders of the so-called lost generation, they are the true military veterans of our country. Former ANC president Oliver Tambo referred to them affectionately as “young lions”.

Frowning upon tribalism and regionalism, they embody ANC values, norms and culture. Government deployments and tenders hold no incentive as they come equipped with professional qualifications.

As youngsters, they dared death to fulfil their historic mission.

In his epic poem Emperor Shaka the Great – based on Zulu oral tradition – the now late Professor Mazisi Kunene wrote:

“Those who feast on the grounds of others often are forced into gestures of friendship they do not desire. But we are the generation that cannot be bypassed. We shall not be blinded by gifts from feasts; with our own fire we shall stand above the mountains, as the sun.”

These fearless words were engraved in the “red book” of the 1980s youth detachment.

It guided their consciousness when they voluntarily embarked on the difficult task of liberating South Africans. Mlungisi Johnson, now an ANC MP, was one of its leaders.

Every step he walks is a reminder of the detachment’s collective courage. A prisoner of conscience, he led from the front.

In honour of them, I make no apology for casting aspersions on those who have turned the ANC into a den of thieves.

Why does the party not elevate these people to government posts and win back the confidence of the electorate?

Jacob Mamabolo, MEC for infrastructure development in Gauteng, and David Makhura, the province’s premier, are fighting corruption in their respective government positions. And former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau proved his mettle in that post.

Let these worthy people be scrutinised and submit themselves to lifestyle audits so the public can see that they have not been “captured”.

They are the perfect experimental models on whom Reverend Frank Chikane can test his Mohamed and Peers Mathematical Formula, which applies to those seeking leadership in the ANC.

The formula, says Chikane, is designed to “know how far we have deviated from the course of the national democratic revolution and the culture of the movement”.

As part of his mathematical construct, Chikane suggests that every ANC leader and deployed cadre be “put through the formula” to measure “angles of deviation” from the ANC’s ideals.

The late president-general of the ANC, Chief Albert Luthuli, made the now-famous assertion that “the road to freedom is via the cross”.

Bona fide members of the party should henceforth agree that the cross will today represent an acceptance of public scrutiny – and in so doing, agree to submit themselves to lifestyle audits.

The current ANC leadership has turned a deaf ear to numerous warnings from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and a host of party stalwarts such as Cheryl Carolus, Trevor Manuel and Ahmed Kathrada.

In the Bible it is written: “I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

Power can evaporate as fast as it is acquired. The citizenry bestowed power on the ANC and it is obligated to respect and serve us.

Going forward, the leadership should heed these divine words:

“Good leaders seek wise counsel. Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.”

Dube is senior researcher at the Xubera Institute for Research and Development


Do you agree that they have the right leadership qualities?

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Read more on:    anc  |  politics  |  nkandla

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