Defend Truth


The ANC-MK party fight lays bare their true focus — and it’s not us


Zukiswa Pikoli is Daily Maverick's Managing Editor for Gauteng news and Maverick Citizen where she was previously a journalist and founding member of the civil society focused platform. Prior to this she worked in civil society as a communications and advocacy officer and has also worked in the publishing industry as an online editor.

One hopes South Africans will be mindful of all these shenanigans as we weigh up which party we should give our coveted votes to.

There has been no greater sign of political parties being at odds with those in their own ranks, their supporters and democracy than what has been on display over the past week or so.

In fact, their callousness and their riding roughshod over the needs of people really does make one’s stomach turn as we enter the final weeks of campaigning before the elections on 29 May.

The DA launched an ill-conceived and offensive political advert using the burning of the South African flag, for which so many died. The ANC is sending its leaders implicated in State Capture out on the campaign trail and doesn’t know whether it wants to discipline its errant former president or not.

The MK party is imploding before our eyes as different factions try to oust each other because of infighting. And the EFF, well, after publicly flogging one of its rising leaders for missing a meeting to attend to her ill infant, it seems to be biding its time, trying not to make any sudden movements that will draw unwanted attention to the party as we head to the polls.

But I’d like to focus on the unravelling ANC-MK situation. After much humming and hawing, the ANC finally decided that it would subject its former president, Jacob Zuma, to its national disciplinary committee (NDC) for openly campaigning – and standing as a candidate – for MK, while still proclaiming to be an ANC member.

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This was probably a good move in the eyes of members who resent Zuma being allowed to be a law unto himself, and would also assure the party’s supporters that there are still some processes that work in the ANC, especially as they relate to its commitment to “self-correct”.

But no sooner had the notice been issued than it was recalled by the National Executive Committee (NEC), which cited potential security issues if Zuma attended the meeting at Luthuli House in person.

The NDC said it would shift the hearing online, but Zuma dug in his heels for an in-person meeting, prompting the NEC to call off the entire process. So much for respecting independent processes, self-correcting and not bowing to intimidation by Zuma and his MK supporters.

One of the reasons the security threat was said to have been taken so seriously is that MK has a track record of using inciting language and threats of violence to protect Zuma. Some people even speculated that the hearing could have resulted in a charged standoff similar to when, in 1993, the IFP converged on what was then Shell House, resulting in the death of 19 people.

Then the ANC trotted out its State Capture-implicated NEC members for a “last push” campaign in KwaZulu-Natal. It was a shameless, tone-deaf move that could only be considered a dismissal of the seriousness of the State Capture report and its findings. One can only marvel at the audacity of it all: seeking support among the very constituents whom State Capture harmed the most.

We have also been subjected to witnessing the implosion of the MK party, from the ousting of its founder, Jabulani Khumalo, and other leaders to his retaliating by trying to oust Zuma, claiming he is not the legitimate leader of the party.

Khumalo tried to get the IEC to fight his battles by asking it to remove Zuma from the party candidate list and the ballot paper. As expected, the IEC distanced itself from the whole affair, asserting that it would not get involved in this internal political minefield, which does not fall within its mandate.

Before this, Lennox Ntsodo, who is known to be a staunch Zuma supporter and led the Western Cape “hands off Zuma” campaign, claimed that MK fraudulently got the signatures required to participate in the elections.

This still needs to be proven, but it adds to the party’s woes and threatens Zuma’s renewed pursuit of power, in which there is little evidence of him working to serve the needs of the constituency he hopes will support MK.

So far, MK has been thin on tangible political reforms, commitment and, more importantly, actions to turn the country around. While other parties have been using the time to go into communities to hear what people want and how their needs can be met, MK has been mobilising its supporters for the protection of Zuma, at all costs.

The ANC, meanwhile, has been scuppering its own processes designed to revive its integrity and get the party to work for the people it purports to serve, and not its many errant leaders.

It remains to be seen how all this will play out, but one is hopeful that South Africans will be mindful of all these shenanigans as we weigh up which party we should give our coveted votes to. DM

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R35.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Manie Mulder says:

    It’s all about jostling for a position at the feeding trough Zukiswa. Your and my welfare does not mean anything to these conmen.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    The exact DNA of the anc, eff & mk! Self and party interest trumps all. Corrupt, thieving, criminal, parasitic, useless and couldn’t care less about the country and its people. When will the gullible and foolish masses ever wake up and consign these scumbags to the sewer where they belong instead of voting them back into power and expecting/demanding a better life!!!

  • Sonja Bakker says:

    Zuma is our Trump, stealing, lying and raping and he gets away with everything because South Africa has as many idiots who believe the BS that he is dishing out. Just like Trump will be the downfall of the US, if the ANC, MK and EFF continue to run this country, there will be nothing left of our beautiful country. The ANC have destroyed all the state owned sectors, so add the MK and EFF, there will be nothing left.

  • ST ST says:

    Years ago the ANC developed a minor infestation. The powers that be within thought they can contain and control it. Decades later, the infestation has spread, mutated, and developed weaponry for self preservation. Try to remedy it now? May be a case of too little too late!

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    “the South African flag, for which so many died”

    Isn’t that slightly hyperbolic.
    Dying for a flag? (which didn’t even exist during the “struggle”

  • Indeed Jhb says:

    Zuliswa, with all due respect, people are dying for/ because of the flag now and will continue to do so as long as the ANC holds any form of control over the country. The ANC struggled for control not freedom – that much is clear. Signing the NHI Bill before 29 May confirms that, yet another promise of a better life that cannot be kept but will get the votes – just like all the other lies did. Desperate people live on hope, that is all they have

    • Denise Smit says:

      And the jobless keep getting more and more in comparison with the population growth. This is one of the biggest failures of the ANC policies. The effect of burning jobs in effect. If you do not have a possibility of earning a living , what does a flag mean to you

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