What the ANC’s elective conference is doing, with the help of Cyril Ramaphosa’s faction, is to delay the funeral.” Diehards of the party will, of course, froth at the mouth, mumbling about self-correction, renewal and radical socioeconomic transformation.
They choose to ignore that the battle between Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the deputy president was a battle between two irreconcilable factions of a once-great party. In President Jacob Zuma’s two terms at the helm of the organisation everything that is necessary for the survival of a pro-poor political party was trampled upon.
Former president Thabo Mbeki, while at the helm, publicly announced there was a culture that was taking root in the organisation; a predatory culture as opposed to a value-based culture.
That was over 15 years ago. This year he observed: “What was seen to be abnormal 20 years ago is the norm in 2017. The historic value system has been so corrupted that its replacement is seen as normal.”
The man who oversaw the normalisation of a corrupt value system is the outgoing president of the ruling party. Not only did he do that, he went as far as driving out and sidelining a huge chunk of the individuals who were the embodiment of the historic value system.
The erosion of those values has made it possible that sane men and women, educated leaders and people with impeccable struggle credentials had to come to a point where they support a corrupt system of leadership be Tuesday 10 19 December 2017 cause there was something in it for them.
And in consciously choosing bad over good, they killed the party that placed them where they are. But the death of the ANC is not only due to corruption. It is also due to the atmosphere that has been created within the organisation that has been designed to make it impossible for quality people to operate freely.
This dire lack of capable people to run the day-to-day affairs of the ANC and formulate quality policy has resulted in a lot of dithering on issues of crucial national importance, such as fees for higher education and the endless fights in the leadership of the police.
The mythical disciplined ANC cadre who is supposed to be incorruptible and dedicated to serving the poor was never allowed to surface again under Zuma’s administration. In fact, the requirement for high office seemed to now be dependent on how pliable a leader is: pliable enough to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no truth to power.
These new cadres see nothing wrong in aligning themselves with a faction whose backbone consists of people like Bathabile Dhlamini, Supra Mahumapelo, David Mabuza and, by extension, the Guptas – the faction that seeks to extend the looting at state-owned enterprises.
So, as the ANC waves goodbye to the leader who oversaw the death of the organisation, the country breathes a sigh of temporary relief, hoping that they can give him one last kick in the proverbial behind and remove him from the country’s high office too, preferably way before he is constitutionally due to leave. And hope that he gets his day in court as a man not hindered by presidential duties.