There were no surprises on 8 August
- Fikile Mbalula
- 09 Aug 2017 10:22 (South Africa)
In its 105 years of history, the ANC has never sought to divide the South African people for power and it will never do so. In its 105 years of history, the ANC remains committed to liberating the people of South Africa from the fangs of a vulturous class that has preyed and taken a bite out of our people day after day. The ANC is steadfast in its commitment never to betray the people of South Africa and Africa as a whole. We shall never be derailed in the pursuit of fully liberating our people.
The promise the ANC lives by is to promote democracy and the free will of the people even when that free will means the ANC could be at a receiving end. As true and unflinching centralist democrats, the ANC carries a banner as the only true champion of the constitutional establishment we enjoy today. Many of our opponents in 1996 had to either be dragged screaming or pushed gently into the very Constitution we enjoy.
South Africans must be reminded that the DA (then DP), IFP, FF plus were among those who took the ANC to courts fighting against this Constitution. Today, their ruse is to claim to be champions of the supreme law they vociferously litigated against.
In our deliberation to lead and build a nation, the ANC as a main actor will ordinarily be the party that becomes a respondent in various courts of law. This does not imply that the ANC is a constitutional deliquent but talks of where the people of South Africa have time and time and again decided where the hegemony of power should reside. Kukhokhothwa ehambayo.
In all this, the ANC will make mistakes. There will be big and small mistakes. There will also be contrition, reflection and correction. We talk of the ANC as a living organism because it is made up of imperfect beings, the people.
In our quest for strengthening our democracy, the ANC has since 2014 accepted eight habitual motions of no confidence which repeated the same song again and again. After the Constitutional Court clarified the powers of the Speaker, again the ANC went further to enable a secret vote, fully alive to its internal debates and disagreements among its members and public representatives.
Prior to the vote in Parliament on 8 August, the ANC was fully aware that a few dozen of its members would vote with the opposition. Indeed, these sentiments had been expressed inside and outside the ANC. Some of the comrades who voted the way they did had openly shared their views in structures of the ANC up to the NEC. We knew that, we trusted in the will of the people and defended the ANC the best way we thought it should be.
Democracy being a contract the ANC has with the people, we encouraged a secret vote and moved not to suspend or remove representatives who made it known how they would be voting. There were no surprises on 8 August, ours was for a true display of democracy to be seen and experienced by all. Indeed, we would have loved to have our full caucus vote in a three line whip but we went to the vote fully aware this would not be.
The ANC loathes nothing more than being viewed as an unwelcomed government that has no legitimacy. This is the reason we shall continue to allow all motions including the next motion by the DA to force early elections.
We are fully aware that the issue of the motions of no confidence have little to do with the issues raised. It is accepted that the issues and allegations raised against the president should be subjected to fair legal due process and this is under way in various ways. At issue is the deligitimisation of a democratically elected government and unseating it through psuedo-democratic ways – power grab dressed up as a democratic process.
Our people must not be fooled and will not be fooled, that is why throughout the country the masses responded loudly to demonstrate that the so-called “will of the people” is not matched by real evidence. The masses of the ANC outsripped all the well oiled, well funded anti-ANC campaigns by opposition parties and their business sector friends who have decided that the ANC is the enemy.
We are clear on why the business sector believes the ANC is the enemy that ought to be crushed for the DA, EFF and FF Plus. We are fully aware of the aggressive campaigns to unseat the ANC including large amounts of money and resources employed.
We are aware it is not palatable to demand that the business sector stops its investment strike on South Africa which has seen it amassing R4-trillion in an uninvested cash stockpile now being used against the ANC once again. We are aware business is pained at the minimum wage law and transformative agenda of the ANC.
The last time the South African capital class and corporate sector in particular coalesced to galvanise their power and money against the African National Congress was during the election campaign that I was deployed by the movement to co-ordinate and lead in 2004.
In the 2009 election campaign, which also started two years earlier as the 2019 campaign is proving to do, the ANC government was dealing with mammoth social and political issues which included the HIV epidemic and high levels of crime and huge business sector money against the ANC. The ANC carried that general election with close to a two-thirds majority even though all our opponents and competitiors had written the ANC’s obituary, indeed many ANC obituaries have been authored before.
The various votes of no confidence in the ANC and its leadership have been the feature of the 5th Parliament opposition politics. Chaos and erosion of the diginity of ANC leaders was caucused by the opposition parties as the best way to deal with our electoral politics. When you strip the dignity of a person and use character assassination, they believe our people will fall for them. What is missing in the opposition strategy are coherent policy proposals.
We know the EFF abandoned its “cardinal” ideas that were based on Venezuelan politics with content not suitable to South African conditions. The EFF has since crawled deep in the canals of neoliberalism led by the DA. The DA has fashioned itself as the fake ANC. The DA claims it can implement ANC policies better even though it is deficient of progressive outlook in its blood vessels and heart of hearts.
The nakedness of the cold power ambitions are clear for all to see. The ANC is not wounded, but tested.
We know our people stand to suffer untold suffering the moment the DA-EFF gets any opportunity to real power. This is the reason we commit to do all we can to defend the 1994 revolution so that its fruits are enjoyed by all our people. The wealth of South Africa does not belong to the corrupt few, nor does it belong to those who have enjoyed a good life since 1652.
We will enhance and redouble our economic redistribution policies to reach all our people. To do that we need to be radical in the manner we seek to transform our economy from a mostly white-monopolised and owned economy into an equitable one. DM
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