When President Cyril Ramaphosa says the ANC is united, everyone knows he’s not telling the truth. We shrug it off because it’s a preposterous claim. Signs of disunity are everywhere. The utterings of some ANC folk are watched for signs of disloyalty to Ramaphosa’s leadership.
These include party secretary-general Ace Magashule, MK Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) propagandist Carl Niehaus, MKMVA leader Kebby Maphatsoe, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina and national executive committee member Tony Yengeni.
All are in former president Jacob Zuma’s camp, or what Niehaus calls the “radical economic transformation forces”. More appropriately, Zapiro used a weekend cartoon to depict some of the above as a “state recapture” team, along with David Mahlobo, Faith Muthambi, Tom Moyane, Supra Mahumapelo and Mosebenzi Zwane.
They are not part of any supposed ANC unity. Yet on Monday afternoon, a smiling Ramaphosa told eNCA: “Within the ANC NEC we are doing very well … we had fantastic discussions. We are united, so don’t fear.”
Hours later Niehaus, in response to an unflattering Sunday Times editorial comment, referred to former tourism minister Derek Hanekom as a traitor. And Zuma called Hanekom a spy. Indeed Zuma’s spy allegations against a raft of comrades have added to the turmoil and disunity.
The ANC is tearing itself apart.
The latest conflict is over who in the ANC met opposition parties and who was prepared to support no-confidence votes against Zuma when he was president.
But the underlying cause is that the “state recapture” team is desperate to resume feeding at the trough of corruption. Not content with having almost ruined the economy, they want more.
Why do we shrug off these lies about ANC unity? They are not harmless. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s propaganda expert, famously said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Here lurks danger. ANC unity has become a Holy Grail, to be pursued unquestioningly. Much like the fabled emperor’s clothes, ANC unity does not exist.
Yet gullible people say how wonderful it is. Fantastic, as Ramaphosa says.
And because ANC unity is such a wondrous thing, people go to great lengths to preserve it, even if it can only be found in the imaginations of the faithful.
All hail the altar of ANC unity, unto whom sacrifices are offered. And the first of these offerings shall be truth, pure if not simple. Indeed, truth must be the first offering, for truth cannot survive at the altar of ANC unity.
The truth is, the ANC is rotten to the core. If truth is allowed to thrive and is methodically tested in open court, the ANC will be rent asunder.
The time is coming when lies can no longer keep the ANC together. Soon, very soon.
Ramaphosa preaches unity while ostensibly pursuing the truth. They are incompatible. To claim ANC unity is to cover up lies. Truth will set us free from the ANC. Any day now …