The ANC’s deployment of the party’s youth and women’s leagues and members of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) against a small group of protesters is an indication the ruling party is insecure, an analyst says.
Political analyst Prince Mashele said yesterday the ANC leadership was no longer in control of the party or the country, hence it was relying on the physical power of its militant structures and the police to fight back against its opponents.
Yesterday, the ANC deployed the ANC Youth League, its women’s league, MKMVA members and the police, who surrounded the party headquarters in Johannesburg with razor wire in anticipation of a march by #OccupyLuthuliHouse movement members.
“I don’t think we will see more marches, but instead there will be more public expressions of dissent by prominent members of the party.
“It appears the current ANC leaders have lost complete control of the party and the state, which creates a condition conducive for constant expression of dissent,” Mashele said. “It may not come in the form of marches, but in the expression of dissatisfaction by different senior personalities.”
Mashele pointed out that people such as struggle veteran Reverend Frank Chikane and Sipho Pityana, a former department of foreign affairs director-general, had already done this. Last month, Pityana called for the entire ANC leadership to go, and Chikane said it was time that they admitted to the mistakes that had been made.
Mashele added: “We must expect this to be a trend going forward, especially as we move closer to the ANC succession conference next year.”
Regarding the deployment of police and party militants around Luthuli House during the protest, he said: “It tells you that the leadership of the ANC is no longer legitimate.
“It is extremely insecure; it no longer trusts itself. It issues instructions for protection to the party structures, including its paramilitary structure and the state.”
Independent political analyst Zoleka Ndayi said the loud and clear message from the marchers was that President Jacob Zuma must go.
This exposed the internal conflict in the ANC, Ndayi said.
“This is the beginning of the demise of the ANC … We should expect more marches to come if this is not dealt with constructively and speedily.
“These marches are an embarrassment to the ANC because it shows the party is facing a revolt from within.”