Mangaung: the next stop
South Africa has broken into a marathon.
As she wanders further along the N1 Highway, closer to the Mangaung District, theres music accompanying her journey - songs fill the air. Theres a beat with every turn she takes; some are sounds of ululating, carrying messages of courage and support, whilst others are distinct melodies signalling danger, conveying warnings of trouble ahead. With her soundtrack she also takes with her voices from the past.
The talking heads who form part of the countrys soundtrack, include well-known political analyst and former President Thabo Mbekis brother Moeletsi Mbeki, whos often said to have been one of his older brothers harshest critics. Hes also never come out in support of his brothers successor.
Then theres The Midrand Group, an apolitical grouping thats fast gaining momentum in mainstream media. Songezo Zibi and Muzkisi Qobo are among a group of individuals drawn together by shared values and philosophies.
The final person, featured among the talking heads, is Lebogang Pheko. If you dont know her for some of her radical views, you might remember her as the lady who set off the Afrikaner Weerstands Bewegings Andr Visagie in the infamous Dont touch me on my studio incident.
As with all analysts, they hold some shared views, and this group certainly does when it comes to South Africa and the ruling party.
What do they say?
* There will be no change in South Africa after Mangaung - most of these analysts believe there will be no radical leadership or policy shifts undertaken in the ANCs December conference.
* South Africa has hit crisis mode they all refer to the state of education and economy as prime examples of how the ruling party has let down the people who voted it into power and hasnt delivered on all the promises it made.
* This countrys not a true democracy - Moeletsi Mbeki says, We have persuaded ourselves into believing we are, but all you have to do is look at our elective system. President Zumas never explained to me why he deserves to be our president.
* The ANC is most likely to feel the effects of their actions in the next national elections - Zibi believes people will be more discerning when it comes to the 2014 elections, as a direct result of how people feel about the way the ruling party has been operating over recent years. We could see deliberate absenteeism from elections. Therell definitely be a slight shift from the ANC.
* People are weary of the blurred lines between the state and the ruling party - This murky marriage between the state and the judiciary and this keenness of state to interfere with the judiciary is extremely troubling, Pheko observes.
* The ANC is a transitional government Qobo, having his roots firmly placed in political studies and analysis, goes as far as saying its a party that will implode. Its really just a matter of time.
Leadership really could be discussed for hours on end.
South Africa is now characterised by an ousted rogue youth leader and the Marikana shooting, which sparked numerous other protests countrywide. These protests have exposed the countrys mining sector, which many believe is structured solely to serve the interests of the rich and none of the small impoverished communities serving the mines. The Limpopo textbook saga is another example of an issue that has left the rainbow nation reeling.
Most of these analysts dont believe its a lack of leadership but a question of the type of decisions undertaken by the leaders. Before, we looked at the brand of leadership and never assumed anything could go wrong, but today its a different story, Qobo laments.
Pheko, whos set in her views, points out that the problem lies with the fact that its usually a battle of personalities and not policies.
For these four analysts, the current government is going to gather in Mangaung for a few days and leave there without making any decisions that will reduce the levels of corruption that people have been seeing. As Mbeki puts it, You cant separate the ANC from corruption. BEEs legislated by government, which resulted in the birth of tenderprenuership, thus the BEE tycoons and politicians who pamper themselves with taxpayers money.
Click on the link below to track the path towards Mangaung: