The African National Congress (ANC) are about to hold their 105 year celebration on the 8th January, the ruling regime and party, that has hold government since 1990s after the end of Apartheid. Which all is splendid thing, they are on their third President or third Executive if you may. First one was the pivotal leader and executive Nelson Mandela (Madiba), than their there we’re the quiet storm Thabo Mbeki and the one that ousted Mbeki, the all-powerful hand of the President Mbeki, Jacob G. Zuma who is now still commander-in-chief in South Africa.
His reign is not without controversy, as his ruthless behaviour and his acts to control the ANC, has left other behind, the ones that we’re hardliners under the Apartheid feels left behind. The elite and the corrupt are the ones that are close to the regime. The ones that are paying and eating of government contracts are the one loyal to Zuma. The others who we’re loyal to the party in the past has become disenfranchised like workers unions and even parts of ANC Youth League that we’re under the wings of Julius Malema has created a movement out of the ANC.
The EFF is an direct reaction not only to the ruthless leadership of the presidency under Zuma, but also to the under achievements done under the decades under ANC rule. The ANC has had the opportunities; instead they have enriched themselves and their donors. This wasn’t the intention during the struggle to get to power.
“Motshega (2010: p95) states that: ‘One of the original purposes of the ANC was to bring together a wide variety of different ethnic groups and tribes, to bring about unity and cooperation between people of colour’. In the period from the ANC’s establishment in 1912 through to the 1950s, ANC ideology was dominated by African nationalism. The ANC sought to further black interests, while white participation in the black African struggle was limited. ANC membership was exclusively black throughout this period. The formation of the Congress Alliance in the 1950s, which facilitated political cooperation amongst black, coloured and Indian activists saw a more integrated approach to the ANC’s liberation effort” (Twala, 2014).
O.R Tambo, 16 Dec 1971.
By all means the forging of ANC happen in a different and within history where the context of the South African experience is not similar with today. Still, the value of unity and cooperation is still as important today as it we’re in the early 1900s. It became more on ‘Black Struggle’ as the xenophobia and draconian rule of the white minority extended into ridiculous measures where the torture and separation where beneath all we as outsiders to that time can comprehend. Where a tiny minority took total control and forced fellow brothers and sisters to small-payments and squatting while minority lived in wealth. Therefore the ANC turned the way it did, because they needed a fair voice and justice for their kind and salvage society where the separation was creating two-societies within one republic. Therefore the politics of healing and forgiving within ANC after apartheid shows the stature of majority peaceful transition we all can hope other nations can do in the future.
As the transition was happening and people worried about the momentum of the release of Mandela, Mandela himself said this, which proves his commitment and belief:
“There is no such plot,” Mandela told a news conference after a two-day closed session of the ANC’s national executive committee. He added that the ANC is “unanimous about working with the government to bring about a democratic transformation. And the method we have chosen is that of peaceful negotiations.” (Kraft, 1990).
This shows the powerful history of the ANC and their rise to power from suppression and horror. We can see that the current ANC NEC and Leadership seem to forget in their riches and their hold of power. Zuma seem to be more entangled with wealth creation of his family and use the connection into the corporate contracts of the state, than actually create welfare and job security for the average South African, the South African that we’re important reasons for the existence of the ANC.
#WeAreANC is a missed opportunity, a missed staged event of something that could be profound and meaningful for a party that started a fantastic journey in the midst turmoil turned into possibilities. That even at one point got it to be the most progressive and economic prosperous within the sub-Saharan nations. They got even parts of the growing economic nations of BRICS. So the rise of ANC brought with economic progress and positive legislative changes that we’re only bringing hope. That even put the light dimmer on the freedom fighter from Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe who had years in the sun since his Lancaster House agreement and freed his Rhodesia from minority regime under Ian Smith. So President Mandela made him inferior and also like an ugly step-child in the international community. That has been kept like that since the knowledge of the Gukahundi massacre.
So with this in mind, this should also be remembered:
“The ANC as an organisation in fact never voted in favour of armed struggle. Mandela was given the task of persuading the sceptical ANC president, Albert Luthuli, to accept the policy retrospectively. Luthuli refused, but he conceded that he could tolerate the military organisation Umkhonto weSizwe if it was entirely separate from the ANC” (…) “As the ANC’s grip on historical memory loosens, rethinking the past becomes a politically explosive activity. I have lost count of the times that radical, angry young black South Africans have asked me why the transition from apartheid left so much of the country’s wealth in the hands of whites. Many Afrikaners wonder how, from a position of strength and in control of a proudly undefeated defence force, the National Party managed to give so much away in such a short time” (Ellis, 2014).
This is still vital today as the elites under the ANC is a small figment of the context in South Africa, the townships and the low-payed underclass is still as big as before, as much as the Republic has also a big population of immigrants from Zimbabwe and around Africa who seeking work in the nation who is famous for the progress and being an open-society. Therefore the reaction between today’s ANC and the foreign interference is also important to understand the party, which it is today:
“In recent times, the ability of ANC-led governments to pursue a coherent foreign policy that reflects the historical ideals of the party has further been undermined by the ever-widening divisions within the party. The frictions within the ANC that came to the fore during its 52nd National Congress in Polokwane in 2007 have been accompanied by a fragmentation in policy orientation within the party, a phenomenon that has also affected foreign policy. As different voices champion and defend positions within the ANC, foreign policy has increasingly become incoherent and has in practice drifted away from the founding values and principles of the party, which are eloquently articulated in official government documents. The extent of this deviation is such that the same ANC that so vigorously championed the cause of African unity during its days as a liberation movement has today become a divisive force on the continent, as illustrated by South Africa’s move to head the Commission of the African Union at any cost” (Nganje, 2012).
But just as the PR Team of ANC isn’t coherent with the feelings in the communities, even after the important loses of local elections in major cities and townships to the DA and other opposition parties; the time for a new breed and a change of policies within the government and ruling party comes more vital for its future. The neglect of the common core and the creation of the party are now open cracks as potholes on the streets. The tarmac is tired and the funds are diverted.
That is why the reaction to the meme’s and the scandals of late comes with the #WeAreANC, as the Gupta and Eskom cases are now the spotlight of the ruling party, not their rich history or their tales of liberation. So the ANC are now blaming the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters for the retorts and smug attitude to the campaign. Like they needed to plan for the opportunity to bluntly address the cronyism and corrupt maladministration; that has lingered in the National Assembly and in Government during the recent decade under President Zuma.
Even if Zuma has survived the explosive Capture of State report of November, the fall of the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and the other impeachment of the Executive have failed during the 2016. Together with other acts of malice and ill-intent to misuse funds and state to gain riches. It was time for the ANC to eat after the fall of the peaceful transition government under Mandela. The ANC lost their soul while waving the flag of intolerant measures under the Anglo Leasing deal:
“If Mr Zuma becomes the ANC leader he is almost certain to be the country’s next president after the 2009 general election. But he too is dogged by allegations of corruption and is facing indictment by the same special police unit, the Scorpions, that pursued Mr Selebi” (…) “The Scorpions are investigating Mr Zuma after his former financial advisor was convicted two years ago of fraud for bribing him over a multi-billion dollar arms deal by South Africa” (…) “Mr Mbeki sacked Mr Zuma as deputy president, a move that divided the ANC, but criminal charges were thrown out of court last year before a full trial. The Scorpions appear ready to press new charges that could derail Mr Zuma’s bid for the presidency” (McGreal, 2007).
So the Arms deal that brought massive amount of counts on the current President and brought down Mbeki. That one is still hunting in the shadows as all of the alleged crimes that have been done by Zuma. Zuma has more allegations and litigations that any President on the planet, well, only less than soon sworn-in Trump in the United States. There are certainly a picture that world would have erased, that Zuma is the most alleged-corrupt President.
The promises of a grand party, for the citizens and for progress have gone astray. Certainly, Zuma and his team could have thought better after a scandalous year of 2016 to unleash on the world #WeAreANC. That is just giving fuel to the fire. The burning flame on the allegations and the current affairs of the ANC gives way for discussions of their missteps and maladministration that hard to salvage. Save a party like this should be possible, but the rotten core has to be up-rooted. That cost and will take time to rebuild. But if they want to live on the heritage and not wealth than the ANC has to do so! Peace.
Ellis, Stephen – ‘[From our archives] ANC suppresses real history to boost its claim to legitimacy’ (03.01.2014) link: http://mg.co.za/article/2014-01-02-anc-suppresses-real-history-to-boost-its-claim-to-legitimacy
Nganje, Fritz – ‘The influence of the ANC on South Africa’s foreign policy’ (02.11.2012) – Proceedings report of a roundtable organised by the Institute for Global Dialogue
McGreal, Chris – ‘Notes on a South African scandal’ (11.10.2007) link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/oct/11/insideafrica.southafrica
Kraft, Scott – ‘Mandela Denies ANC Plots a Takeover : South Africa: He asserts peace talks are on course and rejects police allegations’ (27.07.1990) link: http://articles.latimes.com/1990-07-26/news/mn-966_1_south-africa
Twala, Chitja – ‘The African National Congress (ANC) and Its Ideological Shifts Over Time: Attempts to Define or Re-Define Its Ideological Identity?’ (September 2014).