They will be too weakened to mount political comeback against Ramaphosa.
The noise from President Cyril Ramaphosa adversaries within the African National Congress (ANC) is reaching a crescendo – but experts have dismissed it as nothing but “the last kicks of a dying horse”.
The calls by a group of black former generals of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) – aligned to a faction of Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) – that the current ANC national executive committee led by Ramaphosa must step aside, left no doubt as to their factional agenda.
Their action prompted ANC national chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, to call them to order.
The manoeuverings by the party’s so called “radical economic transformation” (RET) group appeared to be aimed at shaking
the tree on behalf of former president Jacob Zuma and secretary general Ace Magashule.
Now Zuma’s son, Duduzane, has announced his interest to join politics, apparently to take his father’s cause forward.
They began mobilising after the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown and it seemed they would not rest until they had removed Ramaphosa.
The latest to show boldness is ex-South African Airways (SAA) chair Dudu Myeni, who is aligned to the Zuma faction.
She refused to answer questions at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, claiming she did “not want to incriminate herself”.
This suggested Myeni, who previously cooperated with the commission, could have been briefed not to cooperate with the commission.
She followed in the footsteps of Zuma, who refused to appear before the commission until its chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, recused himself.
Political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga said the Zuma camp were deliberately disruptive in order to cause a crisis for the commission.
“They just want a revolution. They are trying to disrupt the commission of inquiry and trying to cast aspersions on so many investigations into wrong doing.
“Their greatest motive is to throw everything into a crisis so that they never have to deal with substantive matters,” Mathekga said.
It’s no surprise, said Mathekga, because their disruptive strategy has been evident for a while. What Myeni was doing could
be linked to Zuma’s own behaviour towards the commission.
“It seems as if the foundation was never about helping the vulnerable, but about defending the compromised,” Mathekga said.
These events come a week after RET aligned members of the Umkhonto Wesizwe mobilised in Johannesburg and Durban, but produced no substantial grievances.
They resorted to xenophobic harassment of foreign traders.
Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni said the Zuma camp’s mobilisation against Ramaphosa was bound to fail.
He said their calls and actions were part of a fight back strategy to divert attention from the criminal charges that certain individuals faced due to investigations by the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Zondo commission.
ANC MP Vincent Smith was charged in connection with state capture along with former Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi.
Other ANC top brass could face the law, including Free State agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane and former water and sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.
Fikeni asked: “What option do they have? If you notice that you are in a corner, you become bolder as part of a defence mechanism.
“They tried at the NEC meeting but lost. They rehearsed removing Ramaphosa at the postponed policy conference.
“By the time the ANC policy conference took place, many of them would have been facing the law in one way or another on allegations of state capture related corruption,” Fikeni said.
They may not have the opportunity to mobilise because they will be too busy trying to defend themselves in courts of law.
They will be too weakened to mount any political comeback against Ramaphosa.
According to Fikeni, one of Zuma’s frontmen, Andile Lungisa, fell foul of the law before he could carry out his assigned task to mobilise support for the camp.
“Lungisa was a front man for Zuma, but he is now behind bars. There are certain things that will not be fixed by politics but by law taking its course and in the process Ramaphosa people will have be strengthened,” he said.
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