Former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas has praised the ANC for voting President Cyril Ramaphosa into power but warns that more work needs to be done to save the party and the country.
“We did a good job going towards Nasrec [for the ANC's elective conference]. In terms of creating momentum, the media played a big role and civil organisations played a good role, the churches played a big role towards driving momentum towards realisation of this thing,” he said, referring to Ramaphosa’s win at the 54th elective conference.
He elaborated: “But I think about it, most of it was about removing [former president Jacob] Zuma; most of it was about saving the ANC. When we had the mere victory in Nasrec we sat down and said we have solved the problem. I think we are at the point where we need to go back and mobilise society.”
Speaking at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs) alongside South African Council of Churches’ Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana on Thursday evening, he gave insight about his book After Dawn: Hope after state capture.
The book, which focuses on the political and economic crisis and solutions in South Africa, was officially launched in Hyde Park on Tuesday evening.
During the dialogue, Jonas told attendees about his concerns regarding the lapse of leadership in the country.
“Our crisis is a leadership crisis, and I mean across the board. When the country is in crisis they start searching for heros and I think we should break this,” he said.
He expressed his concerns about the decline of the ANC but has hope that the party could regain support.
“It can still re-focus itself and drive a different trajectory I think the issues about how it develops and strengthens itself are important, but I think it has huge potential,” Jonas told City Press.
In his book, he criticises the ANC for still classifying itself as a liberation movement because it echoes a sense of “false morality”.
“There is a different between a liberation movement and a ruling party. You must think about it. How do you question your liberator? There is a need for us to realise that the party that runs the country is a party. It has to think of a coherent programme, a coherent vision,” he said.
When asked about the state capture in the country, he explained that it was happening on all levels of government and not only by the Gupta family. While the commission looking into incidents of state capture continues to probe individuals who have been implicated, Jonas believes there are many who dodge the bullet.
“There are many people who escaped from the ‘Zuma Era’ who were part of the collective,” Jonas said.
Jonas is known for declining a bribe of R600 million and the finance minister position from the infamous Gupta family. He was expected to replace Nhlanhla Nene, who was fired in December 2015.