The African National Congress has been the source of light for black South Africans since 1912, and spread its light throughout Africa as the oldest political party on the continent. It has been a source of hope and optimism. Our national anthem has been adopted in Tanzania, Zambia and other countries in southern Africa.
We saw South Africa being freed from apartheid colonial rule, with the hope of future prosperity. We believed South Africa under the ANC would be a beacon of wisdom.
But nobody could have imagined or anticipated the outright corruption and disintegration of the economic infrastructure, water treatment systems in disrepair with raw sewage flowing in the streets and into rivers, and worse still: no lights at night but endless darkness.
With rolling blackouts at stage 2, stage 4, and then stage 6, are we approaching stage 8 in complete darkness? Anything is possible under the most corrupt and incompetent ANC leadership in a century.
In the ANC in exile, we saw the mistakes made by the Tanzanian government under its Ujamaa policies, with ideal and good policies, but poor implementation; we saw the mistakes of the Zambians under their humanist policies, ideal but with poor implementation; Mozambique under Frelimo, with a Maoist type of Marxist ideology; Zimbabwe under Zanu-PF, as a tribalist dictatorship.
We promised ourselves as the ANC not to repeat their mistakes, but alas! That was a pipe dream. We inherited the strongest, most sophisticated economy and infrastructure on the African continent, but South Africa appears worse today under the ANC than we could have imagined.
The ANC had no experience of running a modern state. South Africans could still have run the state successfully if they were allowed by the ANC government to do so.
Unfortunately, the most competent South Africans were not classified as cadres by those in charge and they were not appointed appropriately to the suitable posts. The ANC had a policy of taking over the running of state institutions through its own political cadres, but without the necessary skills and competence to do so.
Instead, all the state institutions we inherited from the National Party have been destroyed. I refer to Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, Denel, PetroSA, the Post Office etc, all being destroyed by ANC cadres.
The party of light for over a century, the ANC has now become a party of darkness and rolling blackouts, a party of cholera with raw sewage flowing in the streets, into our rivers and into our lives.
What went wrong with the party of Dr AB Xuma, the party of Chief Albert Luthuli, the party of OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela that has gone from being a shining light on the continent, to a party of darkness, filth and rolling blackouts?
Luthuli House, the ANC headquarters, is at the top of the pyramid overseeing the destruction of infrastructure of water treatment plants, with tankers replacing pipes to bring water to the communities while wastewater treatment plants are left unattended.
In Eskom, coal cartels have fed power stations with rocks instead of coal damaging the boilers, resulting in continuous rolling blackouts. This is the result of coal cartels being run by corrupt political appointees instead of through the competence of qualified engineers.
André de Ruyter’’s book should be read by all members of Parliament to appreciate the monstrosity of corruption inside Eskom. All this is happening under the ANC’s watch.
Are there still leaders of integrity inside the ANC?
Instead of being a party of reform striving to empower the citizens of South Africa, it has changed into being a party of retardation, regression and refusal of reforms.
The New Nation Movement had to take the ANC government to court to force it to introduce independent members of Parliament. ANC members of Parliament — all appointed by its National Executive Committee and not one of them chosen by voters — have refused to enact genuine reform of the country’s parliamentary electoral laws since the time that former president Thabo Mbeki rejected the majority recommendations of Dr Frederik van Zyl Slabbert’s Electoral Task Team in 2003.
The ANC had to be dragged to the courts to introduce the reforms allowing individual candidates to stand for election.
It is now three years since June 2020 when the New Nation Movement brought the Electoral Act to court to allow citizens to stand as independent candidates to contest the next general election. Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga, presiding over the case, ordered Parliament to reform the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 to include independent candidates within 24 months.
ANC Members of Parliament have been moving in circles, delaying the process and using every opportunity to frustrate the reforms. When ultimately forced to introduce these reforms, they did the bare minimum.
Who knew that when the ANC came to power, it would no longer preach majority rule but would practice minority rule by its own elite after it became government. When it was excluded from power by apartheid it preached majority rule, but once in the seat of power, it is minority rule for themselves. What hypocrisy!
Instead of the present sham, only a genuine radical reform of the parliamentary Electoral Act can rescue and renew the country and the ANC itself. We need Power to the People, so that we as citizens of South Africa have the power to choose — and remove — MPs and provincial MPLs by name as genuine and not fake representatives.
We need light, not darkness. South Africa needs clean, ethical government, not corrupt government by a party elite.
We as citizens need to build a powerful, nationwide, mass movement demanding a comprehensive reform of the electoral system — a new Mass Democratic Movement. We have waited too long. DM