Ramaphosa alone can't change ANC - Biko

2013-02-22 22:24

Cape Town - ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa will not succeed single-handedly in changing the party, Hlumelo Biko, the son of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, predicted on Friday.

"That party is a very difficult party for one person to impact and I think that the constituency he brings is not as strong as many people around here would like it to be," he told the Cape Town Press Club.

"I think he will have a very difficult time making the ANC into the image that he has. So I think that there is this collective leadership dynamic that will drown out the voice of a single individual."

Biko, an investment banker and also the son of Mamphela Ramphele, said he believed that President Jacob Zuma played identity politics and that this had lowered the tone of the public and party discourse.

He referred to the tendency as "othering" those who did not subscribe to the dominant political view in a bid to marginalise them, and said he believed it shamed ANC veterans like Ramaphosa and National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.

"I think that identity politics is assumed as normal, and it is actually not something that people in the ANC are shocked about when they hear some of their leaders describe people as 'un-African'.

"I think our president has participated in that and I don't think it is useful for anybody, even within the ANC. I think people who are good inside the ANC find themselves cowering down to some of these levels, and I am not envious of people like Cyril and Trevor who have to function within that construct."

Biko is currently promoting his book, The Great African Society.

It is critical of current economic empowerment policies and argues instead for redistribution managed, in part, by the private sector directly and for change in the education system.


Biko said the book was completed last year and it was coincidence that it was published at the same time that Ramphele launched her new political party initiative.

But he added that their political thinking was largely similar.

"I can confirm that I am my mother's son," he said.

"I can confirm that she brought me up and therefore many ideas in the book are shared.

"I am not sure which of those ideas in the book she is going to take. It is probably better to read her book.

"In terms of her party and the manifesto it is going to take, I really can't answer the question because I think it is too early."

Biko said his book offered a "not perfect" modern-day definition of Black Consciousness because he believed the philosophy was valid but its proponents had failed to update it.

"There are... [many] members of what was BC that still sit in the NEC (national executive committee) of the ANC, that still sit in the main leadership of many other parties, and those people have been irreversibly impacted by the philosophy that focused on the need to approach human interactions from a basis of equality."

Biko said he regretted that money had become a yardstick of human worth in post-apartheid South Africa.

"I think what those people haven't done is translate that philosophy for today as it pertains to people feeling that wealth is a pre-qualifier for an increased amount of human dignity.

"And therefore if they engage with people who are wealthier than they [are] that they don't feel that they are on an equal footing.

"I think what needs to happen with Black Consciousness is that it needs to be updated to talk about today['s] trends and obviously a lot of people who were proponents of that have spent their time out of intellectual rigour, and spent too much time in politics or business."

  • WILDSBOK - 2013-02-22 23:00

    Some anc members know there is something wrong in the party... so change it???what the hell. Why dont you change it???

      Tshilidzi Wa Ha Mukhovha - 2013-02-22 23:05

      Biko confused you

      Yandisa Mtanyana - 2013-02-23 03:41

      You need to have a disfunctional part of your brain to think that ANC can get better.

      mc.segal.5 - 2013-02-23 09:25

      WE need an intelligent people serving person to run the show If the top is usless the rest will be too...

      Mbongeni Masilela - 2013-02-23 11:55

      We miss Malema

      sponono.sangwana - 2013-02-23 12:19

      Aha! Mummy put the Agang cake on the table, now hlumelo is already puting his dirty nails on it. Will nepotism ever end in RSA? from the beginning we already can see mummy's mission, trying to cash on Biko's shares that the ANC are keeping for themselves? huh!...

      Wa Tswera - 2013-09-06 07:36

      Stefan you are right everyone within the ANC leadership who is sane knows very well there is rot in the party's ethical conduct and lack of direction and discipline,however we must not forget the action reaction rule,these leaders are as the result of a well planed Apartheid system of brain washing,ignorance and lowest quality bantu education system of education challenged to think and act in a manner that most whites do,the chain reaction rule doesn't cease to apply because the oppressor is now directly affected by their own creation now working against them.You created the monster now deal with it.Or wait until my generation which is not affected y Apartheid take over,or you believe we also are not culpable?

  • glyn.morgan.96 - 2013-02-22 23:49

    He says "I think" too often. It gives the impression that he "does not know". Otherwise he sounds like his mother's son.

      mabheshankone.zosuthu - 2013-02-23 02:27

      Who is his mother, ? I think I need to ask because I don't know - and you probably do, seeing as you didn't say "I think".

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-02-23 05:54

      My point too, Glyn, I have a problem with these too many I think. Why don't he say something else than I think?

      Lucky - 2013-02-23 08:14

      at least he does think..if more within the anc did the same we might actually get something vaguely resembling sense from them, but then i think that's very wishful "thinking"!!

  • nickolous.mabika - 2013-02-23 00:10

    Your views are your views and it does not mean you are politicaly correct,however I respect your views,let's wait and see what Ramaphosa has for us.

  • Obadia Kgopolo Segwape - 2013-02-23 00:41

    how did ramaphosa become so wealthy

      michil.chegwidden - 2013-02-23 02:49

      ANC created BBE, right position, right place at the right time. Sorry my man you lost out but someday far away in time you might get there if anything is left since all South Africa’s money are ending up in Switzerland bank accounts.

      ANASKA - 2013-02-23 13:41

      Obabdia exactly my thoughts! - it is amazing how many of the black elite South Africans has enriched themselves in spectacular means since the fall of apartheid

  • Shaun Shaun Shaun - 2013-02-23 03:42

    U're stupid person, how can u criticise the majority yet u expect yo book to sell? 1 of the things u forget is that it yo father who is recognised as a true cde that fought 4 ppl, nt u

      Kholekile Dyala - 2013-02-23 07:30

      U cleaver you can tell a man you never met his stupid ,shame on you

      Terence Wessels - 2013-02-23 08:15

      Hope you are not trying to compare Steve Biko to the current lying criminal idiots who hijacked the movement and the country.

      Justin Slabert - 2014-12-03 12:51

      I can barely read what you just wrote

  • kenneth.loots - 2013-02-23 06:11

    Well said, Mr Biko. I sincerely hope your mother's initiative has a profound impact on uniting this country.

  • Matome Lucky - 2013-02-23 06:38

    The ANC has good track record of uplifting and improving the life of s.africans, if u pple have evidence abt corruption y dnt u report it 2de law enforcment agencies or shut-up!! U like it or not anc wil rule 4de nxt decades 2cum

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-23 07:00

      Big fan of the Easter bunny are you?

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-23 07:03

      Big fan of the Easter bunny are you?

      Terence Wessels - 2013-02-23 07:44

      Have you been drinking the toilet water again fool? The cANCer are strangeling us to death.

      Piwa Fihlela - 2013-02-23 07:49

      @mnisi.i think an idiot is da one who thinks he enjoys monopoly over intelligence and believes dat his opinions are da gospel truth.indeed mnisi u have displayed these thingz hence i call u da bigger idiot.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-23 10:56

      Matome Lucky. Keep dreaming and keep ignoring the facts that stare you in the face.

      boitumelo.matshediso.98 - 2013-02-23 14:56

      The only good track record is that of uplifting their own families and friends at the expense of the masses like u,who ignorantly sings their praise no matter what.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-02-23 15:53

      Please ask your ANC comrades to refund your school fees in full. I can hardly make out what you wrote, and what you are trying to convey.

  • Meshack Mosebo - 2013-02-23 06:49

    raMaphosa Marikana Massacre -

  • - 2013-02-23 06:51

    I think it is time for the anc to start worrying. It will be interesting to see who moves across to Agang. The anc is about to face a brain drain....that they really can't afford

      Peter Zylstra - 2013-02-23 07:12

      Adam, a correction........there is no brains in the anc so there can't be a brain drain.

      Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-02-23 07:14

      They'll only do crosstitution manoeuvre once they're certain which direction the scale's tipping and they're guaranteed free access to milk and honey. At the moment they're just having their legs stretched between both sides of the fence!

  • Sifiso Sosibo - 2013-02-23 06:55

    Biko's dead right cause I also foresee Ramaphosa being frustrated and character assassinated by power-mongers and winners-take-it-all money grabbers that have hijacked the organisation and the sad part's the faceless puppet masters weren't in the struggle but are pulling the strings today cause they manage to position themselves! Aluta Continua!

  • Thelma Nkosi - 2013-02-23 07:11


  • Hasani Booysen Hlungwana - 2013-02-23 07:17

    If you are not greedy, selfish, criminal u cant make it to ANC,. they only believe in them ZULUs

  • Piwa Fihlela - 2013-02-23 07:30

    Hlungwane or whatever ur name is dont cum here and display ur stupidity.wat is this have 2 do with the Zulus u tribalist with issues and facts instead of ranting abt dis ethnicity crap.

  • john.thelps - 2013-02-23 07:36

    With all his money surely he can employ enough consultants to help him, and if that is not sufficient their is always public money!!

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2013-02-23 07:52

    Don't you get it; corruption is so endemic in the ANC that anyone who made their money in even the slightest legitimate way is shunned. No-one can change the ANC. It is rotten to the core, and only when the great unwashed see that appointing people who can do the job is the only way out of the incompetence that riddles all our public institutions, and that will never happen while the ANC contiues to appoint cadre into positions of power, will there be any change in the way everone can live.

  • Jannie Le Roux - 2013-02-23 07:53

    The ANC is focused on deviding our country by enforcing racist play cards to manipulate it's followers. Us whites are seen as Europeans and not South Africans. What makes me less of a South African than anyone who was born here. Is it because my forefathers came here from a diffirent country? If that is the case, then only the San is native to SA, as all the other tribes in SA is also foreign. Go read the history books. All the SA tribes come from the Bantu speaking tribes which moved here in the past. They took land from the San forcefully and settled in SA. So who is South African then? If this Country belongs to someone, it is definately the native San people! My point is; We need to build and unite a nation, not devide it.

      songezo.madyibhi.3 - 2013-02-25 02:43

      Jannie, one of the VERY BAD things your forefathers did is to manipulate the African history. Anyway we speak of Africans in particular, South Africans in general. We only say it to correct the imbalances created by your forefathers including dividing by race and regions like homelands.

  • themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-23 07:55

    ANC is rotten to the core. No one can transform something that has rotten into anything else. Let us not expect miracles from the Buffalo soldier

  • Terence Wessels - 2013-02-23 08:07

    ANC has had it. You can't polish a turd.

  • Piwa Fihlela - 2013-02-23 08:08

    Anc does nt need rescuing.yes,it has its problems especially that of attracting corrupt elements since it is a ruling party.however,we wil overcome this since we have great individuals 2 c 2 it that ANC lives longer.NEC is packed with great minds,the Ramaphosaz ,Mboweniz,Gordanz,Gigabaz,Hanekomz and many more.This organisation has stood the test of time and it wil continue 2 do so.

      Terence Wessels - 2013-02-23 08:24

      Packed with great minds??! Bwahahaaaa. Sorry, can't stop laughing at you. Hahahaaaa.

      Piwa Fihlela - 2013-02-23 08:38

      Well,thats what mentally disturbed people do.they laugh for no reason at all.Typical.

      keith.minter.90 - 2013-02-23 09:01

      Ok, Piwa. Maybe there are great minds in the ANC. But where are they? By far the majority of statements coming the ANC make me shudder with their stupidity, racism, etc. Also, how could an organization with so many great minds elect Zuma as president? Really? Would you consider him to have a 'great mind'? Maybe their are great minds in the ANC, but they surely aren't using those minds to uplift this country or its poor.

      Piwa Fihlela - 2013-02-23 09:13

      @keith.there r positive thingz coming out as we speak.if we luk at the National Development Plan and the New Growth Path u cn c something is being done.Projects like National HealthInsurance,Infrastructure Development and many more have started 2 revitalise our economy.Brics is helping us 2 attract businesses from ever improving Asia and South America.Challenges r there bt it is nt as bleak as sum r saying.this is the only government in the world that give houses 2 citizens 4 free.nw A student cn go and register at FET free if he is disadvantaged financially.Pls compare us to older democracies in Africa

      keith.minter.90 - 2013-02-23 12:12

      I will agree that good things have and are being done. But have you asked yourself if other persons / political parties could have done a better job of achieving these infrastructure and development projects? How long has the ANC been in power? Would Marikana have happened if there was good leadership, if these projects were put in place ten years ago? On the other hand, it would take a lot of hard working ppl a long time to build something great, like infrastructure, upliftment of the poor, etc. But it only takes one moron, an instant to destroy what could have been something good. That is what I see happening everyday with the ANC, they destroy. Maybe not something physical, but at a philosophical or personal level. The mindsets of people.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-23 13:08

      Phiwa, the "great minds" are completely powerless against the corrupt Zuma because he is their boss. Otherwise, they would have stopped the daylight robbery of theft of tax by Zuma which he is using to build a resort-type of harem in Nkandla.

      Marvison Nkadimeng - 2014-03-22 17:07

      Piwa, great minds r there. The problem is @ the moment they r marginaled & powerless.The current leadership is a group of allies who r only da 2 serve their own narrow interests.

  • Jannie Le Roux - 2013-02-23 08:12

    Most people aren't aware of it, but all the tribes in SA is foreigners. All tribes sre derived from the Bantu speakin people who traveled here and forcefully confiscated land from the San. Read the history books. How can land reform be justified then? It is all a load of %@¥<.

      Piwa Fihlela - 2013-02-23 08:22

      I think u r the one feeding us crap.who wrote those history books.these r the same history books that told us that one white man from Europe discovered South Africa.Secondly,we did'nt have South Africa,white peopke came with it.we had one big land that is now called Africa.we moved from North 2 South with ease and yes there were territorial fights like in any continent.

      Jannie Le Roux - 2013-02-23 10:59

      News flash. These history books are new and current, with most of the researchers being black students. As with the aparthuid regime, which wrote their own history books, the ANC wants to do the same. Same %#

      bongani.nsele.58 - 2013-02-23 11:12

      the europeans in europe are foreigners they all came from africa....jannie le roux don't be so desparate man the African people don't need you to tell their story, you know nothing about Africans no wonder you believe your fairy tales

      Jannie Le Roux - 2013-02-23 11:48

      I'm sure that I know more about your history than what you do, from the look of things. Go to museems, Google it, research the matter. Do as you please. You will find my statement correct. It's like trying to exlain that green is actually green. Now you know what we mean about educational problems in this country.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-23 13:09

      History is written from the point of view of victors. Believe the lies written by the colonialists all you want. We, whose ancestors were always in SA, will never believe that rubbish

      Sipho Mnguni - 2013-02-23 15:08

      @Themba.Thwala; I fully agree with you that that so-called history is a distortions and lies. De are told we originated from Niger-Delta, but a look at the names and surnames of those people does not match ours. Lies, lies and deceit.

      robert.lankenau - 2013-02-23 16:51

      @Themba/Sipho - it's not all wrong. Of course history gets distorted, but the Bantu languages are very different from the Nilotic, Volta, Hamitic, and other languages. So yes, they Bantu share common ancestry as do most people on this planet. And in the case of SA, the San/Khoisan were really the first inhabitants. Dutch settlers arrived just shortly after Nguni tribes arrived in what's now northern and eastern SA. It's not all wrong.

  • markus.ippy - 2013-02-23 08:15

    It is a pitty that the smart people in this country don't seem to be directly involved in politics . Biko , an mbekis brother are good example of what a politician should be

  • Lucky - 2013-02-23 08:16

    i for one will buy the book. i like what you say and would like to get a better perspective of BC, good luck.

  • Joshua Sematla - 2013-02-23 08:35

    I don't believe its the ANC that divides south africans, south africans are divided on fundamental ideologies and behaviour, for example blacks and whites differ fundamentally on the WEST's role in world politics and economics, most whites value profit more than a black persons human dignity, white peoples insults, lack of cultural understanding and ignorance is what divides us. As much as i don't like bob but I can never agree on what the west did to Zimbabwe, never!

      Jimmy Millionwatts - 2013-02-23 08:56

      I agree with you there and I would add that I actually like Bob for exposing the West's hard hearted politics. Its people who like to conform with or assimilate to Western styles of Master(white) and Slave(black) politics that might find discomfort in Mugabe.

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-23 09:07

      I understand your feelings of frustration as a black man and I will agree that colonising a country and forcing a specific life style that was alien to the region's populace was not a good thing. The native people were living optimally at the time and a westernised lifestyle could only benefit the colonisers to the detriment of the locals. The problem is that this is what happens in the world and we have to make the best of the situation that has been handed to us by the actions of our forbears. How we deal with matters now is what is important. We will not move forward positively if we look back too often. Doing this persistantly will stunt the growth of our country.

      Jimmy Millionwatts - 2013-02-23 10:20

      @gary, I don't think it is about not wanting to forget the past. It seems every time people ask for fairness and equality so as to move forward the West just can't believe that its possible for the former colonized to be treated as equals. This obviously is hangover from oppressing and dominating people for far too long that right at the back of that mentality there is serious racist motives. Although this is well masked it does always come to the fore.

  • peter.l.morris.3 - 2013-02-23 08:39

    But Ramaphosa is going to line his pockets to the brim. Greed is evil and the downfall of all integrity the man has fought against.

  • Sarah - 2013-02-23 08:55

    The ANC will need to start appoint educated, younger black South Africans especially in Education, before it's too late.

      Peejay MacLane - 2013-02-23 10:12

      ANC doesn't want educated people. They prefer the ill informed people so that they can lie to them. Afriforum is doing a great job taking our government to task

  • dube.m.brian - 2013-02-23 08:57

    Great commentary, great assessment, excellent critisism...I am definately buting this book with the hope of finding great suggestions on how to change our policies and/or way of thinking. We may have another true African hero yet. As for racism, go to the corporate world and see how our black brwtheren are treated. The ANC is not fundamentally racist - it points out racism and even that is not enough as it starts and ends on the media. It does not penetrate to the core of the economy of SA, i.e. the pvt sector. We all know that. So forget the ANC and look at the man in the mirror. And by all means buy this potentially ground-breaking book by the son of a victim of racism.

  • Sanele Maseko - 2013-02-23 10:34

    True that but his presence and business experience may change da direction of the anc we can't all lose hope we survived apartheid we can survive corruption

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-23 10:45

    What a good moment to publish a book. Gravy train on the move already?.

  • Jannie Le Roux - 2013-02-23 11:00

    News flash. These history books are new and current, with most of the researchers being black students. As with the aparthuid regime, which wrote their own history books, the ANC wants to do the same. Same %#

  • bongani.nsele.58 - 2013-02-23 11:01

    Bikho junior is suffering from the illusion of inclusion trying to intergrate himself with everyone else

  • ANASKA - 2013-02-23 13:27

    This artical is as dysfunctional as the ANC - Rhamaphosa was in the business sector many many years - it will take years and years for him to make any huge impact!!

  • donald.perumal - 2013-02-23 14:56

    @Hlumelo Vintage Biko-I thought we had lost a brilliant African Intellectual but you made my day! Viva Biko Viva!

  • john.tex.395 - 2013-02-24 04:14

    Bananas R1,99 a kg

  • Clement Mokone - 2013-02-24 22:33

    I think that the Anc's public policy is fine because it theoritically stands for a non racial,non sexist non tribal society. We cannot talk of ideology here because the ANC is a unification of all historically oppressed people of south africa each with his capitalist or communist idelogy as a memeber. Indeed the dominant ideology then was communism and I am sure South Africa could have have been a communist state had the Anc managed to dismantle apartheid before the end of the cold war during the late 1980s. It is obvious that capitalism is thriving throughout the world and that our country is indeed following the same path,unless Dr Ramphele wants to take another route. But I don't think so. We have a constitution now which no political party can disrespect and go unscathed. Black consciousness is a welcome ideology ever since. So perhaps Dr will not want to interfere much on the ideologies mentioned above. Now what I think she may do is among other things stress her role as being the one of bringing a public policy that will enforce clean governance and effectiveness within the government. Effectiness in delivering the dreams of our liberation struggle. Effectiveness is key for all governments accross the globe. If a government is not effective in service delivery then the ideology underlying it is as good as a dead lion. Effectiveness cuts across ideologies. This is what Dr is seeking to do. The Zuma government is corrupt and corruption obstructs development of the society. The zuma admin also lacks effectiveness. So it can't do anything. Dr Ramphela stands a good chance.

  • Clement Mokone - 2013-02-24 22:55

    Indeed I see zuma attempting to use Ramaphosa as a draw-card of the masses to the Anc. Its simple abc move which even ordinary people can detect. Of course Hlumelo is ostensibly right. Can Ramaphosa for instance stop corruption within the Anc? I don't think so. Can Ramaphosa stop Msholozi from all these dubious scanadals? No. He is only trying to give members of the party a forlorn hope that things wil be ok. Its too late.

  • Wa Tswera - 2013-09-06 07:37

    Stefan you are right everyone within the ANC leadership who is sane knows very well there is rot in the party's ethical conduct and lack of direction and discipline,however we must not forget the action reaction rule,these leaders are as the result of a well planed Apartheid system of brain washing,ignorance and lowest quality bantu education system of education challenged to think and act in a manner that most whites do,the chain reaction rule doesn't cease to apply because the oppressor is now directly affected by their own creation now working against them.You created the monster now deal with it.Or wait until my generation which is not affected y Apartheid take over,or you believe we also are not culpable?

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