In 1976 the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP) once chronicled The Enemy Hidden under the Same Colour which was a characterisation of the behavior of the “Gang of 8”, a splinter group from the African National Congress (ANC).
The Gang of 8 was expelled from the ANC in October 1975 after contesting the outcomes of the watershed Morogoro Conference in 1969 for integration of all national groups and revolutionary forces in the struggle led by the ANC. For the SACP, this group’s campaign against the unity of the liberation forces fed well into the John Vorster government’s desperate attempts to find black collaborators both inside and outside the country, in order to break up the unity of the liberation forces so as to keep white power alive.
The same annals of the SACP cited the following observations, warnings and counsels from President Samora Machel of Mozambique regarding the enemy of the revolution: “…The other face is that of the indirect and secondary enemy, who presents himself under the cover of a nationalist and even as a revolutionary, thus making it difficult to identify him…The fighter must distinguish friend from foe even if the latter is concealed under the same colour, language, family ties or tribal markings as their own, even if he raises his flag with us.” Cognisant of this and other essays on agents provocateurs such as The Divide and Conquer Agenda – The Role of the Agent Provocateur by Ryan Cristian, a guest writer for Wake Up World, I could not help but think of the Guptas’ scandals that incessantly dominate the media from the controversial landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base to the recent alleged diversion of R30-million from Free State government to pay for the lavish wedding in Sun City.
In his essay, Cristian described an agent provocateur as “a person employed to encourage others to break the law by pretending sympathy with their aims, usually in a protest setting, to incite and provoke them into incriminating actions, so that they can be arrested”.
For a moment, forget about the scene as captured by Ryan but focus on the intention and the strategy of the agent provocateur, which is to sabotage the will of the citizenry under a false pretense of sympathy and solidarity in the struggle to address their plight. By all accounts the alleged scandals of the Guptas did not only tarnish the names of the Cabinet ministers and comrades but also implicated them in criminal activities which if proven to be true might see them in prison serving time for sabotaging the National Democratic Revolution. All these alleged Machiavellian tendencies have been revealed in a state capture report compiled by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela which is due for probing after a Judicial Commission of Inquiry has been appointed.
I must say, I cannot wait for the establishment of the commission to establish the facts about the reported notoriety of the Gupta family which have not only reduced the likes of Brian Molefe into cry babies, but also pitted comrades against comrades. But the truth is, whether the implicated leaders are found guilty or not, they have created a very wrong impression about the ANC, thus sullying its image.
This should be the preoccupation of the branches as they ponder on the resolutions of the ANC’s 5th National Policy Conference (NPC) and preferred leadership collective for the December 2017 elective conference.
The diagnostic report presented by Secretary-General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, during the NPC after a failed attempt by North West, Free State and Mpumalanga provinces to block it, acknowledged the ANC image crisis caused by the Gupta family and the State of Capture report and this is a much needed step in the right direction.
And for a report that was endorsed by the NEC (ANC’s highest decision-making structure between conferences) the reason for contestation provided by the Premier of North West, Supra Mahumapelo, that a diagnosis of ANC leadership problems should be a function of the branches, was mischievous, opportunistic and escapist while the house is burning. Provide other reasons, Premier, and tell no lies.
It is very disturbing, denuded of revolutionary mettle and in sharp contrast with the values of the ANC such as selflessness, that amid heightened negative public perception on the moral standing of the ANC due to reported but not rebutted exploitation of close proximity to power to amass wealth in the face of a grinding poverty, inequality and high rate of unemployment, some of the comrades, notably from the ANC Youth League and MKVA, are hell-bent on defending the Gupta family to a point of ostracising their own comrades.
As they have already released their lists of preferred leadership collective in defiance of the ANC instruction and tradition, we can only hope that their only preoccupation was the Eye of The Needle which serves as the ANC policy guideline for selection of the best cadres, not the protection of the Guptas.
Based on all the subjective weaknesses which have led to the electoral decline of the ANC and the role of the Guptas and Bell Pottinger it became clear that during this Second Phase of the Transition for Economic Freedom, the ANC is faced with a new enemy, Agents Provocateurs and traitors of the NDR. If not, how could a motive force, as their puppets would want us to believe, influence the diversion of R30-million which was meant to improve socio-economic conditions of the poor people, for extravagant nuptials without due regard for the high rate of poverty in the country? How can it happen, if one is a true revolutionary and a motive force, to be so self-absorbed?
This should be a wake-up call and preoccupation of the branches that the preferred leadership collective for the December elective conference is alive to the dirty tricks of enemy agents provocateurs and would guard jealously the sacrosanct values, principles and image of the ANC if we are to achieve Radical Economic Transformation.
Be vigilant, comrades, for the sake of the ANC and the country! DM
David Vakalisa Ka-Ndyalvan is an ANC member at Akaso branch and writes in his personal capacity
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