Violence and murders around ANC positions about 'instant wealth' – Vavi

2016-06-26 13:29
Zwelinzima Vavi (Netwerk24)

Zwelinzima Vavi (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg  The violence that erupted in parts of Tshwane over the past week, the political killings in KwaZulu-Natal and the general unrest over leadership positions in the ANC all boiled down to money, according to former Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi. 

"Why has the competition for positions become so intense, leading to these killings and mass destruction of public property including schools? Why have these disputes become more of a feature now inside the ruling party more than in any time in its history?" Vavi asked during a speech prepared for delivery at the National Congress of the Mining Affected Communities United in Action in Johannesburg on Saturday. 

He asked why there were no fights for leadership positions during the struggle against apartheid. 

"The answer to this is not difficult to find. Leadership positions within the ANC as a ruling party are increasingly associated with access to, or accumulation of, instant wealth. The principles that founded the liberation movement have been turned upside down.

"Selflessness is being replaced by selfishness; collectivism is being replaced by ‘me first to hell with everyone else’; better life for all is being replaced by better life for me and my family; people first... is being replaced by rampant individualism and self-centredness; [and] an injury to one is an injury to all is being replaced by an injury to one is an opportunity to another."

Vavi said this "low-intensity war" had nothing to do with the interests of communities or the working class. 

War for access

"It’s a war for access to ill-gotten resources; it’s a war to bulldoze one’s way into the feeding trough behind the backs of people that have been promised a better life for all," he said.

At least five people died over the past week after violent protests erupted in parts of Tshwane. This was after the ANC announced Thoko Didiza as the city's mayoral candidate for the local government elections on August 3.

Some residents said they wanted current mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa to be the candidate.

Earlier in the month, an elderly woman was shot dead and another was injured while they were returning home from an ANC branch meeting in Imbali, Pietermaritzburg.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) recently released a statement voicing its concern about politically-motivated killings, especially in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, which had seen around 50 such murders over the past five years.

Economic inclusivity

Political analyst Steven Friedman said last week the factional divide in the ANC had to do largely with economic inclusivity. 

He said the best description of this was to picture the country in 1994 as an exclusive club for whites. In the 22 years since then, new black members had been admitted, but it was still an exclusive club. 

"The major divide hinges around whether you have been included in the market economy or not. One faction consists of people who have become part of the insider club. Therefore they have a stake in the survival in the market economy," Friedman said.

The other faction comprised those who were not included, but saw an opportunity to survive by attaching themselves to people and politicians with resources. This was patronage politics. 

This formed a substantial element of the political violence in Tshwane, he said.

Read more on:    zwelinzima vavi  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  politics

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