In Search of ANC Strategy to Work with the Opposition

2014-06-21 05:17

The ANC as the leading political party in Parliament should rally other parties to its development agenda. Its task should be wooing others into its epicenter of “Together moving South Africa forward” in a positive manner. They should take lead to ensure the differences in Parliament do not shut down Parliament.

For this reason I don’t think the interjection that ANC made on EFF statement on Marikana was necessary.

Julius Malema making a presentation on behalf of EFF made a passing remark on Marikana that could have been brushed aside by canons of decent dignified silence. So much has been written, talked about and discussed in every public forum about how the Police acted in Marikana. Many people have made their minds about what has happened in Marikana. And what EFF said was simply consistent with the personal conclusions of millions of people. It was not an atrocious remark.

But then one of the MPs stands up for point of order to challenge. Was it necessary really when taking all perspectives in considerations in a circumference? In psychology we are told that the more you resist an idea the more it expands. Look how the EFF presentation in Parliament is expanding nationally and even internationally.

Was this necessary? Was it necessary for ANC to interject on a statement that could have been left sleep? Where is the ANC’s strategy of dealing with the barbs and wires from the opposition that are the order of Parliament business?

Did the ANC caucus actually sat down before this key debate to discuss the EFF knowing how potentially exploisive their presentation will be? They should have sat down and concluded that there will not be any interjections – but let EFF speak and then the ANC MPs coming to the podium afterwards should respond and refute the EFF presentation point by point.

There were scores of ANC MPs who came after EFF presentation. One of the ANC MP could have responded to the Marikana issue, perhaps as follows:

“We have noted with dismay the continuation of efforts by leaders of the opposition to promote themselves and their party through the unfortunate incident that happened in Marikana. EFF has every right to embark on a flight of fancy about who killed who in Marikana, but they do no justice to this unfortunate incident because the matter is pending with the Farlam Commission that the President has established. As ANC we are happy that the Farlam Commission is reaching finality and the truth will be revealed. EFF should feel satisfied about the Farlam Commission because they are fully represented there by their “Fighter” Adv Dali Mpofu”.

The ANC as the Leader in Parliament should device a strategy to deal with other political parties in the best interest of all. They should study each political party and know how to bring them into their agenda of “Together Moving South Africa Forward”.

But overall our State President Jacob Zuma showed huge impeccable respect and consideration to EFF. He sat there listening respectfully as EFF made presentations. He did not look repulsive, cynical or distracted by disgust, but only deep listening focused on Julius Malema with so much deep respect. He expressed full attention - that kind of deep listening that is called “listening for understanding”.

Also his concluding remarks the President was fully Presidential and in consideration of all points made including those from EFF. He acted father-like; as he expressed the wish that Parliament should make progress together; that is what all South Africans want from Parliament – to focus on their lives, their hopes and aspirations: what unites this nation regardless of race, ideology etc.

I embraced the President and liked him for saying those things and the deep respect he showed to all presentations.

But by this time one would have thought the rest of the ANC now understand President Zuma, that he is a man who does not like confrontations, that he avoids confrontations at all costs – only using them at last resort.

The bottom line is that there are many South Africans (including myself), who are tired of stale political arguments and singing in Parliament: we want this Parliament to work together moving this country forward! Parties in Parliament can pursue their individual ideologies but still be able to come together as one South African family.

So again the EFF has won – because clearly their intention was to bait the ANC to interject and then they walk out of Parliament in a dramatic fashion thus forcing the whole nation and the world to discuss them, and this wide continual discussion of EFF in public serves only one point – they are reinforced!

This is what they planned because even before the Chairperson Thandi Modise could finish his words of telling Malema to leave the house - Malema jumped in excitement and said: No problem! and the rest of the EFF MPs rose in unison that only tells you that this is a strategy thoughtfully planned.

So all in all this choir it seems will continue singing in Parliament. We are a long way from hearing the last song. We are still on the overtures; we have not even reached the sonatas and cantatas.

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