May the ANC rest in peace.

2016-04-07 11:22

It’s an election year. We’re four months away from the proposed election dates and already there are wild, often unfounded accusations flying between the political parties, all in an attempt to discredit the other. Cannonades of propaganda slice through the air at light speed, impaling lies to cover a target of truth. If we, the voters, aren’t careful we will almost certainly become casualties in this all-out political combat. 

There is, however, one particular stately nemesis that has become so compromised that it would be a crime against our own humanity if we voted for them one more time. I am of course talking about the African National Congress. This is a party that was once so drenched with integrity that it is painful to consider how different the party is today. We’re talking about one of the world’s most significant liberation movements that led the program which defeated one of the most evil and corrupt systems in human history. How is it that such a powerful political movement could become so imperilled?

The answer lies in the writings of Brazilian theorist, Paulo Freire. In his theories he critically examined the concept of the oppressed becoming the oppressor. Freire once wrote, "The behavior of the oppressed is a prescribed behavior, following as it does the guidelines of the oppressor." It has become clear that the ANC, under the leadership of Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, is on a path which is eerily similar to the ways of the old National Party. You may be disagreeing vehemently at this point. Surely the fact that all South Africans now enjoy equal rights is evidence that oppression has been obliterated, right? On the surface that may be true, but the kind of oppression I am talking about is much more insidious and dangerous than the obvious, legalised oppression of our past. Let’s look at a few examples which mimic the heinous crimes of our previous government. 

A note at this point: I refer to him as Zuma, or Jacob, because he no longer deserves the honour of the title of President. As Mbuyinseni Ndlozi from the EFF recently pointed out, a title and the respect that comes with it is earned, not demanded. A fellow writer (a prolific one at that), Siya Khumalo, once wrote that we should start referring to Jacob as the Former President because, he rationalised, the act of speaking it will eventually make it true. I agree with both Mr. Ndlozi and Mr. Khumalo.

Now, back to the ANC’s dictatorial actions: The meticulous and strategic placement of Zuma's allies in key organisational, state and parastatal positions has ensured that Jacob is so well protected that he is untouchable. Our last remaining independent State institution is our Judiciary, which has ruled against Zuma countless times. The separation of powers, which is essential in a democracy, unfortunately prevent the Judiciary from making an order that could free us from Zuma’s tight grasp. For now, we are stuck with him until such a time as we can devise a strategy that is legal and final with which to remove him from office. 

Much like the NP of old, the ANC has captured the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Instead of this vital broadcaster remaining independent, free and fair, it has succumbed to the will and powers of the ANC. News that is potentially damaging for the ANC is routinely not reported, as well as the fact that there are many hurdles and hoops that opposition parties have to jump through to receive any airtime at all. The ANC is using this body as a tool for propaganda and further subjugation of the minds of South Africa’s people. Last year, during the #ZumaMustFall march, the SABC only televised documentaries about Apartheid. Go figure!

Berning Ntlemeza, who has been convicted of lying to the Supreme Court of Appeal under oath, was appointed as the head of the Hawks special investigating unit. How can someone who is so compromised be put in such a pivotal position? The only answer is that he would support Zuma in order to prevent further investigation into his illegal activities. Not so long ago there was a robbery at the Helen Suzman Foundation in order to seize documents that were going to be used in a bid to have Ntlemeza’s appointment set aside. Sound fishy to you? Ja, to me too. 

Then there was Marikana. A massacre which eerily resembled the National Party’s massacre at Sharpeville. Need I say more?

The mere fact that the Public Protector’s Chapter 9 powers were questioned in the first place is cause for great concern. It was attempted, at all costs, to sweep the Nkandla matter under the carpet, aided and abetted by the Parliament of South Africa. The EFF launched a successful application to have the powers of the Public Protector affirmed, and in the Constitutional Court judgement Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng confirmed, and I quote, that "The president’s failure to comply with the remedial action of the public protector is inconsistent with the Constitution. The president failed to defend, uphold and protect the Constitution of the land.” which is the most serious indictment on the fitness of Zuma to hold office. The ANC clumsily tried to diminish the gravity of the offence by focusing on the word “inconsistent” as a technicality which alludes to the fact that Jacob has done nothing wrong. It’s a juvenile attempt at best, and yet many of the ANC electorate has lapped it up.

A further serious Parliamentary irregularity was set aside by the Supreme Court of Appeal, when the DA launched an application to question the legality of allowing the unofficially named "White Shirts” to forcibly remove MP’s from the National Assembly. This behaviour too was found to be unconstitutional and the SCA ordered that the Speaker of the House may no longer institute such action. The fact that it was even considered in the first place is clear evidence that the ANC is trying to silence the opposition, most certainly because they speak the uncomfortable truth about the corruption of Jacob and the ANC.

Enter the startling revelations of the Guptagate scandal, where it was revealed that the Guptas, a wealthy entrepreneurial family originally from India, were offering ministerial positions to members of the ANC who were seen to be corruptible. We saw Vytjie Mentor becoming an overnight celebrity for her valiant actions to expose this unethical behaviour. While it is true that no substantial evidence has been brought forward to confirm these allegations, the fact that many minsters spoke out to affirm Ms. Mentor’s case, along with Zuma’s reputation for dodgy dealings, I cannot see why this would not be true. Remember when the Guptas landed at Waterkloof, an airport strictly reserved for military purposes? Ja, neh? 

The North West Premier wants to institute laws similar to Hitler's anti-Jew laws, which would restrict foreign shop owners in the province from operating their small businesses. Even if it’s just rhetoric, it fuels and legitimises problematic xenophobic attitudes. His motivations are that foreigners are stealing opportunities from South Africans, but if this was in fact true then South Africans would have been dominating the market long before the foreigners arrived. The fact is the South Africans did not seize the opportunity and now wish to prevent those who did from succeeding. Foreigners flee to South Africa because their own countries are either at war, or severely plagued by corruption and poverty. They come to South Africa and establish legitimate new lives for themselves, but in the end our country ironically cannot offer them any more protection or support than their home countries. King Goodwill Zwelithini was also behind a shocking spate of xenophobic violence when he said that it’s time for foreigners to pack their bags and go back home. He was not reprimanded by the ANC. While the ruling party did release a media statement condemning the xenophobic violence, they have not taken any decisive action to prevent further attacks, and protect foreigners in our country. This is deplorable. 

We have a serious energy crisis, with load-shedding becoming so common that Eskom had to implement official schedules to allow citizens to prepare for outages. Had proper maintenance been done over the years, this would not have happened. In fact, in the 90s the ANC was warned that unless firm decisions were taken to expand generating capacity, we would run out of capacity by 2008. These warnings were ignored. In an attempt to scramble to fix the problem, yet another scandal drenched in corruption played out before our very eyes. The trillion rand energy procurement deal that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson signed with Russia ensured that Russian technology would be used for South Africa’s new fleet of nuclear power stations. The Mail & Guardian reported that, "Once the agreement comes into force, the Russians will have a veto over South Africa doing business with any other nuclear vendor. And it will be binding for a minimum of 20 years, during which Russia can hold a gun to South Africa’s head, in effect saying: “Do business with us, or forget nuclear.” Another scathing indictment on Zuma’s ANC’s legacy of tenderpreneurship. 

The ANC’s reputation is further marred by constant service delivery protests countrywide, as well as strikes for wage increases as a result of so many citizens living below the poverty line. And what about the ongoing student protests asking for free education? If R700 billion hadn’t been lost to corruption over the last 20 years, free education would’ve been a real possibility. But alas, it is now something the country cannot afford. 

Lastly, and most damaging of all, this week’s motion to impeach Jacob was unanimously defeated by the ANC MP’s who all voted in favour of retaining Zuma as the President. Every single ANC MP voted for a man that was found by the highest court in the land to have violated the supreme law of the land. That is the moment the ANC was killed. Some will argue that they were trying to save face in an election year, but what moral standard are they applying when supporting a man convicted of the most serious violation overrides integrity and concern for the people of the country? Gone are the days of Mandela’s glorious movement. Zuma’s ANC is spitting in the face of Luthuli, Sisulu, Tambo, Kathrada, Hani, Mahlangu, Goldreich, Biko, Tutu, First, Goldberg and Pieterson to name but a few. 

We are in a constitutional crisis because our governing party, the ANC, is deliberately flouting the constitution and hoping they won’t get caught. Over the years it has become glaringly evident that the ANC does not care about upholding the constitution, but rather enriching themselves and ensuring that the access to that enrichment remains accessible forever. This is a very serious constitutional crisis!

Can the ANC be saved? For the sake of the party’s exceptional history I’d like to think so, but it will take drastic action. The entire current NEC and MP’s would have to be removed from their positions. They are all compromised. They are all so entangled in Jacob’s web of corruption that even Bathabile Dlamini couldn’t prevent the "smallanyana skeletons" from tumbling out of the closet. Until these drastic measures are implemented the ANC is dead. May it Rest in Peace. 

I agree with Julius Malema when he says that in principle “Zuma is no longer the President of South Africa." It’s time to take action to physically remove him from office. In a democracy it is true that the politicians in Parliament or Congress or Senate hold a great amount of power and responsibility. However, the ultimate holders of supreme power are the electorate - the ordinary voters, which includes you and I. When those who are in the house of representatives no longer represent our best interests they have discarded their responsibilities and will therefore be held to account by, you guessed it, you and I. Sometimes, in times of crisis, more drastic measures are required. Politicians will do everything to try to hold onto power which is why they tend to ignore the will of the people whom they represent. That is when we are compelled to partake in mass civil action, precisely to remind the politicians who they are accountable to and send a strong message that they must submit to the will of, yes you guessed it, you and I. Recently in Brazil and Iceland, as two examples, the public partook in mass civil action which, in both cases, yielded the impeachments the people were after within a matter of days. Don’t let anybody tell you it’s not within your rights and hands to affect change, because in a democracy, aside from your vote, you have your voice, and nobody, not even Zuma, can’t silence us!

I leave you with the words of George Orwell: "A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices.” Think about that. 

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