ANC Says Corruption Is 'A Societal Problem'

2014-04-04 09:22

A few days ago I got the golden opportunity to watch the acclaimed Nelson Mandela film, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. It became quickly apparent that this was not necessarily a film about the ANC, but more a document of Madiba’s life as told in his famed autobiography.

The film made me also acknowledge how the ANC was once our people’s undisputed movement of choice, and their chosen vehicle on the long walk to freedom. Back then, the ANC was a symbol of unity, as Mandela stresses its importance to the youthful Terror Lekota in the film.

But since coming into power, the movement has been more of an instrument of division, inequality, and dispute, in contrast to its core ideals of unity, equality and democracy. Instead of remaining a beacon of unity and equality (Socialism), the ANC rapidly gained notoriety over corruption and grand opulence at its highest ranks.

Nelson Mandela spoke of such in a 1950’s ANCYL Policy document, wherein he wrote, ‘African Nationalists have to be on the lookout for people who pretend to be Nationalists when in fact they are only imperialist or capitalist agents…’ But Mandela himself was part of the 1990’s leadership which shunned Socialism for Capitalism under considerable western pressure.

Eyebrows were raised worldwide when the ANC came into rule with staggeringly high remuneration packages for its MP’s and officials, considering that it was supposed to be a leftist or socialist organisation. This voyage of lavishness and grandeur was aptly labelled ‘the Gravy Train’ by the general media.

Corruption became apparent in the very first Multi-Billion Rand military deal spearheaded by the relatively new democratic ANC led government. The Arms Deal became a subject of controversy, with some senior ANC leaders of the time being implicated for corruption relating to bribes and the awarding of tenders, etc. Both Mandela and Mbeki were slightly associated but not much was authenticated.

In 2004, the ANC under former president Thabo Mbeki declared itself to be a Social Democratic Party. The organisation is also a member of the Socialist International by the way. But all this did not prevent comrade Thabo Mbeki from marshalling Capitalist initiatives like NEPAD and BEE, which largely empowered individuals as opposed to communities or collectives.

Corruption became the defining factor of the once principled organisation during this period, which saw prominent ANC members turning a mockery out of the Judiciary, either mysteriously getting acquitted from serious charges or getting prosecuted and sentenced but still slipping their way out of imprisonment like Jesus’ disciples in the book of Acts.

We were thus exposed to this myriad of ANC superstars who had above the law capabilities which could very well fare with the supernatural legends of Christ’s Apostles. Some of these untouchable maestros include Tony Yengeni, Robert McBride, Jackie Selebi, Allan Boesak, and of course Jacob Zuma, who managed to beat overwhelming odds to still rise to presidency.

I suppose corruption in the ANC did not particularly begin with the Zuma presidency, as some who like to romanticize both Mbeki and Mandela’s historical tenures wish to believe. Jacob Zuma did not corrupt the country but contrarily, corruption in the country fell under scrutiny during his reign, quite unfortunately for him.

As the public, we might be lucky to have effective [but equally answerable] policing in the form of opposition party DA, who kindly brought it to our attention – among a dozen other irregularities - that between Aug. 2009 and Apr. 2010, the ANC led government had spent around R1 Billion of taxpayer’s money on luxury cars, hotels, banquets and other unnecessary expenditure.

One ANC parliamentarian recently published a rather ‘wordy’ article suggesting corruption is ‘a societal problem’ as opposed to a distinctly ANC problem.  This to me is like catching your Priest in an act of adultery, but rather than drown in shame he defensively says, ‘Adultery is a societal problem’. (Well, we know that, Pastor, hence we appointed you to lead us OUT of temptation.)

But in conclusion, I myself find it painfully ‘simplistic’ to associate corruption exclusively with the ANC, while overlooking the fact that the Anglo Empire has been at the helm of South African Wealth and Politics since the exploits of Cecil John Rhodes and others, and have never actually seceded, especially  not financially. The corruption that haunts our country and the beloved movement is mostly rooted in Europe, the supposed seat of international morality and diplomacy.

All these ‘tricks without solutions’ by our esteemed elders and leaders only imply people have not grappled with the fact that all acts carry consequence, for good or bad. Our leaders have not recognized the cyclic nature of events; that what goes around must again come around. This is as much a mathematical truth as it is an ethical truth. ©

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