Disband Disband Disband! The ANC's answer to internal opposition

2013-03-20 08:55

The ANC that was once known to us is no more, we saw the sacking of its Youth League leader and just a few days ago the disbanding of the Youth League in its entirety as well as the Limpopo Premier and the provincial executive for exhibiting anti ANC tendencies…

It was plain for all to see that the factions in the ANC has been deepening all the more of late and that during the Mangaung Leadership Elections in December 2012, the party set aside its differences temporarily – which did not last. In spite of this and the recent indications that the ANC was tiring of the raucous behaviour exhibited by the ANCYL; there was no expectation that the party would all together disband the youth league entirely.

Retrospectively however, the expulsion of Julius Malema from his position as the ANCYL President could have foreshadowed this and should probably have served as a warning to the ANCYL in light of the unruliness the league has come to show all the more under the leadership of Julius Malema.

That may be the case however, it all seems quite sudden; not too long ago the very behaviour that now sees the Youth League Disbanded – and the Limpopo provincial executive for that matter – was encouraged as Jacob Zuma was rallying for support in his campaign against Thabo Mbeki. Jacob Zuma’s rallies where we saw him singing about machine guns were not too far from what is now seen as disruptive. At his side at the time was the now expelled Julius Malema, who was rallying the ANCYL in support of Zuma. This worked: Zuma was elected and seen as the people’s leader – with song and rhetoric ready to charge and claim the presidency which he has successfully done. So what has changed?

Why is the same behaviour now seen as disruptive?

Some have argued that the charges that were brought against Zuma – be they with merit or without – were a ploy by the former president Thabo Mbeki who realised that he had lost the support of his party. The support that Mbeki lost was the support that Zuma gained and the attempts that Mbeki made to get rid of Zuma only cemented his place in the public eye as the hero of the people. One can only wonder whether the expulsion of Julius Malema was not Jacob Zuma’s way of successfully doing to Malema what Thabo Mbeki failed to do to him.

It is clear that there are severe inconsistencies and contradictions in the way that the ANC is being managed and it goes beyond the party itself but grossly undermines what is democratic. We don’t agree with you so you are fired – this seems to be the mantra that the ANC is choosing to follow.

Moreover; this has gone beyond the chopping of individuals like Terror Lekota and moved onto the sacking of entire units like the Limpopo provincial executive and the ANCYL.

The reality is that this kind of disruptive political practice has gained momentum and the answer probably does not lie in the ANC’s new approach of chopping its limbs in that it won’t make it go away.

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