The end of a love affair is always traumatic … but especially if one of the parties has been unfaithful.
They might not have been to see a divorce lawyer just yet, but the ANC and the SA Communist Party are clearly now not sleeping in the same bed.
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande spoke in angry pain this week as he accused President Jacob Zuma of “betrayal”, while his fellow Communist, longtime loyal Red Jeremy Cronin said the ANC is on a course to implode.
Cronin said left-leaning groupings should now start looking at a post-ANC future. Those comments are proof, if any was ever needed, that the tripartite alliance – formed to overthrow apartheid – is collapsing.
Cronin may well be correct in his predictions. A disintegration of the ANC – which seemed impossible only a few years ago – now seems like a possibility, if not in 2019, then maybe not long after that.
The opening up of South African politics means a new role and positioning for the SACP and like-minded socialists.
But it also means parties in other places on the political spectrum need to be gearing up for a future where the green, gold and black is not the only game in town.