ANC: A destructive disappointment

2016-03-22 08:05

Do you remember a time when South Africa's economy was amongst those developing nations prefered for investment? When our Constitution was revered by Africa and the rest of the world alike? Me neither. Though one mustn't let Moody's looming junk status finding scare you just yet. A much more insidious threat to the country is on the bend and you'll be surprised to find out they've already formed a government

There is no doubt we've hit an impasse in contemporary politics. Our leaders' views on weathering turbulent times of social instability and economic uncertainty has persistently failed. President Zuma's time in office has made Mohamed Suharto's administration resemble the Cape Carnival.

More destructively, acts of corruption have been a cocktail of political arrogance, a dash of unwillingness now with a hint of spice! What is once again made obvious is that as President of the Republic, Zuma has evaded accountability purely as a result of the reluctance of the national executive committee's ability to provide decisive action. Never has it been more magnified that this is the organisation that should be judged severely by extension.

Through sheer lack of effort and political will, as an organisation they allowed SA to slide further down the international prosperity league. Gwede Mantashe was bumbling and fumbling even more than usual when briefing the media earlier this week. Unable to finesse the embarrassing slew of high ranking officials who've come forward about a single family's influence in government, kindly supported by a manic-depressive Rand.

In a saner world, the ANC would have initiated an open investigation (internally or externally) of how the Guptas, who once landed a plane filled with their wedding guests at a Military airbase, has most of cabinet emerging from Atul's rear end. A more hopeful, less graphic society wouldn't have seen a hundred year old organisation defend a single man. Whose near decade of decadence at the taxpayers expense has survived organisational scrutiny.

The unspoken idea of a post democratic and liberated SA was that expecting those previously oppressed, now 'burdened' with power to be held to a high standard of accountability was a neo-colonialist slash anti-revolutionary concept. Thank Vishnu and Lakshmi this idea is approaching its last few days!

The current economic disparities, even within similar racial groups is fast discarding this go-to excuse for political and economic failure. The exponential rise of service delivery or wage protests whose pinnacle resulted in the Marikana massacre. A responsive electorate to the clarion call of a political organisation (EFF) who's major focus is economic transformation. More recently the upsurge of Varsities across the country who've usurped delusions of unrealised political promise.

Even with the intellectual muscle of the Guptas, the ruling party has shown an inability to fully grapple the demands of a nation no longer satisfied with failure. Yes, even at the hands of leaders whose claim to politics is doing time in prison pre- '94, bravado that can easily be claimed by most people on both sides of the National Assembly benches.

Today's youth are infused by the spirit of political skepticism. This can easily be attributed to the ANC of the past eight years and effortlessly proved by every #blahblahblahMustFall of the past year. We are no longer content with "that's the way things are done" or distorted narratives of when Verwoerd's images adorned the entrance hall at the Union Buildings.

And so it begs the question, why has the ANC whose last day of adversarial voice was in the ousting of President Mbeki turned a blind eye to the shoddiness that is Zuma and his questionable relation to the Guptas? Have they become purveyors of corruption in the most desensitized manner that no amount of public outrage or disinvestment interests them? Are they too as divorced from the realities of a majority of society in the same manner as their oppressors? An account when raised by many receives unwelcome censorship with little to no comprehension.

I personally object to heightened comparisons, but the ruling party and its wing bodies need to re-examine if they too have not internalised the worst characteristics of our past oppressors. Despite the dangers and damage to their own careers, decisive action needs to be taken against Zuma. This doesn't include silencing those who have spoken out against corruption nor a weekend long 'thing' that results in a salvo against those whose voices aren't disproved on the basis or merit, but as a knee-jerk defensive reaction intended to shield Jacob Zuma.

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