“Closing Ranks” Around "JZ" - So Predictable!!

2016-08-30 09:22

I wasn't at all surprised to read that the ANC's findings, as to its poor showing in the country's recent Municipal Elections, made no mention of Jacob Zuma (JZ).

Instead, these findings dealt with such things as:

• problems with the electoral system (questioning the concept of proportional representation – which the ANC had been OK with until now!);

• voter stay-away (but, of course, there was a reason for that!);

• an acceptance that there has been poor delivery of services in certain municipalities; etc etc.

The ANC did go so far as to hint at the issue of leadership, but with no specific reference to JZ, by saying that no single member of the Party was to shoulder responsibility for the lack of Party support in the Municipal Elections, but that such responsibility needed to be shouldered by what the Party refers to as “the collective”!

Why was I not surprised that JZ wasn’t mentioned??

Well, it’s very simply because the ANC always, but always, "closes ranks" when one of its own comes under criticism/scrutiny by “outsiders” - it's a very predictable reaction for the ANC!

Some years ago, I wrote a letter to a local newspaper, in which I highlighted this behavioral trait of the ANC - saying that in a rather bizarre kind of way, JZ could actually thank Helen Zille/the DA for remaining secure in his position as the Party’s “No.1”, and therefore the country’s President.

I had written about this because, at the time, JZ had been subjected to heavy criticism from within the ranks of the ANC.

However, subsequent criticism from Helen Zille/the DA was sufficient to get his ANC critics to “close ranks” and to support JZ against their common foe – Helen Zille/the DA!

I wonder whether this tendency to support a "comrade", be he/she good/bad/right/wrong, is born of the ANC having its roots in a liberation movement where, in the days of the "struggle", survival meant sticking together against the common foe ... no matter what?!

It was an environment in which anyone turning against his/her “comrade” would attract the most dire (perhaps lethal?) of consequences!

There’s obviously also the significant influence of the trade union movement within the ranks of the ANC – the mantra/motto of the trade union movement being “an injury to one, is an injury to all” – again, we see that philosophy of standing united, no matter what, coming through!

Of course, a policy of accepting the behaviour/performance of comrades no matter whether it's been good/bad/right/wrong has ultimately got to be self-destructive, and I believe that we have seen the start of this self-destruct in the results of the recent Municipal Elections.

Unfortunately, it's not in SA's interest for the ANC to self-destruct because, in the process, it’s quite likely to also take down SA!

We should therefore appeal to the ANC to abandon its “liberation struggle-thinking” and to start admitting when one of its comrades has erred, or lacks the ability to adequately perform, and to then remedy that situation - the country's citizens won't think badly of the ANC if it does that - in fact, they will think just the opposite!!

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