ANC MUST DANCE TO THE BEAT OF ITS OWN DRUMS

2016-06-22 13:07

The ANC has announced Thoko Didiza as the Mayoral candidate for the Tshwane municipality for the upcoming local government elections on August 3rd. This has received mixed reactions from the residents of that region and the media. Some say they cannot be led by a Zulu speaking person from KwaZulu Natal (KZN) whilst others are saying the will of the people of Tshwane has been ignored.  The ANC on the other hand says this name emanated in order to intervene on internal divisions and to unite the organisation in that region. We are living in interesting times.

The first question one might ask is; why was the leadership and the membership split into two between the names of the incumbent Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa and candidate Mapiti Matsena? An ANC member still daydreaming about belonging to the movement of the past might say it was difficult to choose between the two because both of them possessed the best ideas, humility, selflessness, concern for the will and interests of the people, and the commitment, capacity and experience to implement policies. We all wish to say such about our leaders but gone are those days.

There are divisions in the region because both these leaders wanted to take over the Tshwane municipality with its hefty budget for patronage distribution. Those who are on the side of the winner get to eat the whole bread and leave no crumbs for the loser. It is a chronic disease of calculated politics that has infected the ANC, the politics of be-all for me and end-all for you - an entitlement attitude of "why him and not me" - a greed driven behavior of what Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana termed "phuma singene".

It has nothing to do with ideas, humility, selflessness and concern for the will and interests of the people. The violence taking place in Tshwane after the announcement of Thoko Didiza is initiated by the candidates and their affected groups who hoped to be mice in the cheese factory. The whole thing has nothing to do with how best the ordinary residents in poor communities of Tshwane can be best served.

Seeing Thoko Didiza as a Zulu speaking person from KZN is an old demon of tribalism and regionalism that the ANC was initially formed to fight against. Unfortunately, the same ANC is responsible for these kind of comments which now come from its constituency. Leading up to the 2007 Polokwane conference there were t-shirts depicting a “100% Zulu boy” campaign, whom got elected as President in that conference. At the 2012 Mangaung conference we saw an escalation of the membership of the ANC in KZN alone from being only the 4th biggest province in 2007 to being the biggest in 2012 which went on to give the 100% Zulu boy a second term. All these strange actions that the ANC has historically fought against them. However, it failed to condemn them when it mattered the most because at the time they favoured someone and now all of a sudden it acts surprised when they are being uttered by Tshwane residents in 2016.

The appointment of Thoko Didiza also cannot take the residents of Tshwane by surprise in 2016. The ANC has done it before when it took Danny Jordaan from SAFA house to Port Elizabeth without consulting any resident. The ANC is just back by popular demand to do what it does best. At the end of the day, all of this is doing it no good. The ANC is going to elections currently as a pathetic organization with a weak leadership that honestly does not mind going to the grave with it. It is a sick organization deeply infected with factionalism, tribalism, and censorship of democracy within its ranks. It has a resentful membership that it still expects to go out and campaign for it. It is at its most vulnerable point with nobody else to blame but the enemy within itself. It has no choice but to dance to the beat of its own drums

PEDRO MZILENI

JOHANNESBURG

22 JUNE 2016

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