Corruption or no corruption, service delivery or no service delivery, voters still have confidence in the ANC.
When a secretary-general of the governing party is charged with corruption and the former president of the same party has been in and out of courts for many years over allegations of corruption, then one has a valid reason to lose hope in the government.
Worse still, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma are not the only ones and will not be the last. One can count on all fingers and all toes in the old fashioned way if you want to get exactly how many senior leaders of the governing ANC had been involved in various forms of corruption.
Since 1994, they have been trusted with state resources and running the country and instead, for the past 26 years, they have been looting state resources and running the country down.
Under Magashule’s premiership, the Free State government became a conduit for looting by the Guptas and their executives.
It is clear the evidence that emerged at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture was the tip of the iceberg. If the commission and the Hawks were to dig deeper beyond the Guptas, who were the face of looting, to the executives who ran their operations, it’s likely there would be more shocking revelations.
Then there was the alleged looting involving the Watsons’ Bosasa company. This did not involve just a few, like the Guptas. It took the entire cream of the governing party leadership of the Zuma era. From financial bribery to paying extra salaries and gifting fencing for their homes, to chicken packs and funding birthday parties, the state was almost fully captured by a few businessmen. The Cabinet ministers and ANC national executive committee members who benefitted are far too many to list here.
Coming back to the issue of the secretary-general. Growing up within the movement, we were informed that the secretary-general was the boss, the chief executive, and some even described him as the “engine” of the organisation.
Although the president is the most politically powerful, the secretary-general is central to the life of the party. He decides whether the organisation must live or die. Once he has decided that it must die, you have to watch his ways, in the form of acts of corruption, factionalism and surrounding himself with cronies who will deliver his factional agenda.
It’s so strange, though, that despite all the corruption involving the ANC and its top leaders, the party remains popular at the polls. After the graft of the years since the ANC national conference in Polokwane in 2007 and the accompanying shoddy service delivery, one would expect the ANC to be performing very badly. But, alas, Some South Africans still vote for it.
The recent “Super Wednesday” multiple local government by-elections were a case in point. The ANC did so well that they only lost two wards, in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The biggest victories were in Gauteng and Northern Cape, including taking over some Democratic Alliance (DA) wards. While the Economic Freedom Fighters won not a single ward, the DA lost nine altogether.
To me, this says that corruption or no corruption, service delivery or no service delivery, voters still have confidence in the ANC.
Political journalist Eric Naki.
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