Opinionista David Ka-Ndyalvan 5 February 2018

Bullies pose a threat to the ANC’s long-awaited self-correction

Whatever decision the ANC takes to resolve the Unity-Zuma dilemma will determine its electoral fortunes in the 2019 national elections.

Even an insane person would agree with me of the common thread running through the cerebrum of President Zuma supporters. The cerebellum is one of the parts of the brain human beings are gifted with. And if you understand and weigh its functions against the actions of his defenders, you would swear to the Almighty that He has endowed them with a factory fault. There is really something wrong in their demeanor, which is not only destructive but also displays a dismal understanding or disrespect of the ANC internal processes and our parliamentary democracy.

The ANC’s 54th National Conference held in December 2017 at Nasrec, Johannesburg, elected Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Comrade Jacob Zuma as the president of the ANC. Subsequently, and given the scandals and rot associated with Jacob Zuma’s administration, many ANC members and South Africans pinned their hope on Ramaphosa not only to bring back the ANC of Isithwalandwe Oliver Reginald “OR” Tambo and Nelson Mandela but also to rid the State of corruption.

The challenge is: he is not yet the president of the country, but Zuma is, with his baggage of corruption. This is a serious predicament that the ANC has no choice but to deal with as soon as possible if it is to cut its electoral losses. Sensible men and women appreciate that Zuma staying in the Union Buildings will spell disaster for the ANC in the 2019 national elections while his backers hide behind unity talks to shield him until he finishes his term in 2019.

Whatever decision the ANC takes to resolve the Unity-Zuma dilemma will determine its electoral fortunes in the 2019 national elections. The ANC is hard at work to manage a leadership transition in the most sensible manner that will be beneficial to both the country and the ANC, but his ardent supporters are on record boldly that “Zuma is going nowhere” and are also threatening to embark on “Hands off Zuma” campaigns.

Well, the charlatans and demagogues must be told that the removal of Zuma as the president of the country is not dependent on their approval and cannot be deterred by their bullying tendencies. If it must be done, it will be done with or without their blessings as long as the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC), the highest decision-making structure between national conferences, has satisfied itself with a popular view that it is in the best interest of the ANC and the country to recall Zuma.

Given the ANC’s electoral performance during his tenure as the president of the country which saw the loss of power in three key economic hubs of the country – City of Tshwane, City of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay – to unstable coalition governments under the leadership of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and a significant decline of national results to 54% during the August 2016 local government elections, I have no doubt in my mind that sober senses will prevail in the NEC and recall him if he does not resign of his own volition.

If Thabo Mbeki was recalled as the president of the country at the highest peak of the ANC’s voter confidence index, what would be the justification for keeping Zuma, who has abundantly allowed the glorious movement to deteriorate to a shadow of its former self and suffer serious electoral setbacks? What would be the justification of pussyfooting around the removal of Zuma, other than the unholy unity rhetoric, if Mbeki was recalled on the rise of the country’s economic growth?

I am talking about Ace Magashule and Jessie Duarte, the two bullies in a china shop, and self-styled civic organisations such as the opportunistic Black First Land First (BLF), South African Unemployed Workers Union, National Taxi Alliance and others with their diabolic “Hands off Jacob Zuma” campaign. This is nothing else but an attempt by a few rented individuals, who have no interest in the country at heart, to hold our glorious movement to ransom.

This zealot needs to wake up and smell the coffee, the 54th ANC National Conference did not only reaffirm the resolution of the 53rd National Conference that the “ANC is a strategic centre of power” but also committed to the earnest implementation thereof. Therefore, gone are those days when the ANC’s political power was mortgaged to the highest bidders who in turn ran amok and installed their simpletons in the strategic economic levers of this country such as Eskom and Prasa, with a view to weaken the State for their grand-scale siphoning of resources with impunity.

I must say Ace Magashule and Jessie Duarte’s recent behaviour, which was clearly geared at undermining the president of the ANC in defence of Zuma, feeds to the argument that they are not only a misfit for the ANC Top Six officials, but also serve as a hindrance to organisational renewal.

If they are opposed to organisational renewal and self-correction, then it goes without saying that they have thrived and want to continue to thrive on corruption, which the current leadership of the ANC seeks to root out without fear or favour.

But Magashule, Duarte and their friends need to be told that if rooting out corruption in government means the recall of Zuma, which I believe it is, it will be done despite their misguided threats of a “Hands off Zuma” campaign. If the ANC can succumb to this nonsensical campaign, how will it justify to South Africans the continued presence of Zuma in the Union Buildings amid the litany of glaring and compelling reasons for his removal? Think about it. DM

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