Columns 20.9.2016 07:05 am

A warning from the Middle East for the ANC

Bo Mbindwane

Bo Mbindwane

A corporate coup will condemn half of the ANC plebiscite and split the ANC into an angry civil war: the ANC elites versus the ANC plebs.

Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi was articulate, exuding high morals and ethics and was dubbed the George Washington of the country.

Chalabi managed to convince the US, a section of the Baath Party and Iraqi intellectuals that Saddam Hussein had to be deposed from power.

Mustafa Abdul Jalil became an instant hero of the West after his resignation as Libyan Justice Minister, “due to the brutal force Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime was unleashing on its people. Jalil was soon regarded a beacon of ethical leadership.”

Egypt and Syria had their own Chalabis and Jalils. These are the men who boisterously rose to promote themselves as righteous, Messianic figures with all the answers to what their nations were challenged with. Often the political diagnosis used by these self-declared heroes is short and narrow, focuses on personalities and condemns individuals. Often, these heroes come to relevance and prominence when general economic strain is felt making their simple panacea appear plausible.

As it turned out, after these disasters these heroes have been found to be sinister in their morality perch – there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; Libyan troops were retreating away from Benghazi; Iraq was a sectarian fight over oil; and the Clinton e-mails show that the Libyan conflict was motivated by Gaddafi’s affront against the International Monetary System and CFA Franc system. South Africa is not immune to its own Chalabis and Jalils raising their heads – actors who seed unfathomable chaos.

Is the ANC – and thus the country – having only a Zuma problem? Associate professor in public law Richard Calland, a liberal anti-Zuma immigrant, in his recent Sunday Times essay described a “battle for the soul of the ANC” between his preferred “ANC moderates and sensible social democrats” (a la moderate opposition in Syria) and those he labels broadly as corrupt Zuma cronies, who will not rein in government spending. Aside from many unproven allegations he levels, Calland is apt in noting that progressive socialists and social democrats (neo-liberals) within the ANC are at war towards the 2017 ANC conference or a needed “coup d’état”.

Newly minted Chalabis within the ANC are canvassing elitist forums to be against Zuma as a sum of all evils. This focus is taking on tribal and racial undertones, as prominent Indians coalesce and mainly isiXhosa-speaking ANC members take on a leading charge. The homeboy phenomenon is evident in leafy Durban and Eastern Cape province. The majority in the ANC structures is silently watching it all unfold.

Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s banking inquiry gaffe or not, South Africa does have a banking sector corporate feudalism problem – a deep monopolistic capitalist system. It is important I draw a distinction between capitalism and monopolistic capitalism.

Capitalism is where competition is open; monopoly capitalism is where anti-competition and value chain hogging contributes in making ours the most economically unequal nation, shutting the black majority out.

The ensuing coup d’état on Zuma and ANC NEC would embolden corporate feudalists to agitate masses – as Futuregrowth and others are. Importantly, such a coup will condemn half of the ANC plebiscite and split the ANC into an angry civil war: the ANC elites versus the ANC plebs.

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