Editorials 6.9.2016 06:35 am

ANC has reached point of no return

Former African National Congress (ANC) president Nelson Mandela waves to supporters during an electoral meeting, 29 January 1994 in Johannesburg, as he is campaigning for presidential election. South Africans will vote 27 April 1994 in the country's first democratic and multiracial general elections. Picture: AFP

Former African National Congress (ANC) president Nelson Mandela waves to supporters during an electoral meeting, 29 January 1994 in Johannesburg, as he is campaigning for presidential election. South Africans will vote 27 April 1994 in the country's first democratic and multiracial general elections. Picture: AFP

The undeniable truth is that the ANC’s injuries are self-inficted, not the work of foreign powers seeking regime change.

Fresh from a humiliating loss of several key metros in last month’s municipal elections, the ANC has chosen to continue on its self-destruction path, instead of going back to the drawing board. That the ruling party is in self-inflicted turmoil is something that can no longer be denied. Stubbornly protecting a corrupt leadership lies at the heart of everything ailing.

Yesterday’s ugly squabbles between pro- and anti-Jacob Zuma groupings in front of the party’s headquarters in the Joburg CBD highlighted the crisis dogging the ANC. Initially, party stalwarts were the only ones outspoken about the mess the party finds itself in.

Veterans such as Mathews Phosa, Sipho Pityana and Ahmed Kathrada, who have openly expressed concern about the direction the country was taking under Zuma’s leadership, were quickly dismissed as being ill-disciplined and motivated by sour grapes. But now things are changing. Many are raising their voices – among those the young people who marched to Luthuli House yesterday demanding that the entire national executive committee of the ANC step down.

Even members currently holding leadership positions in the party and its alliance structures are now vocal about the rot threatening to condemn Africa’s oldest liberation movement to the dustbin of history. At the weekend several ANC leaders openly bemoaned the state the ANC is in.

Among those was Zuma’s longtime foe, ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile, who warned leaders that the ruling party was in tatters and heading for “a calamity of unprecedented proportions” unless major changes were made. Even Zuma’s supporters who defended the Nkandla scandal are turning against him.

ANC MP and chair of the parliamentary committee on justice and correctional services Mathole Motshekga, who once accused Public Protector Thuli Madonsela of misleading the nation in her Nkandla report, wrote in the Sunday Times:

“The party has been captured by a faction that has no capacity to lead government and society.” At the same time, former KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu wrote in City Press there were two camps in the ANC, one of which he described as “thriving on corruption, arrogance, corrosion of values of the organisation and its traditions”.

Surely the ANC can no longer sustain the lie that it is a target of some foreign agents pushing for regime change. The undeniable truth is that the once mighty ANC has reached a point of no return.

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