'The ANC should acknowledge it is sick'

Analysts have echoed the sentiments of a senior ANC member, that the party has lost its credibility.

An ANC flag is held by members. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Political analysts on Saturday echoed the sentiments of ANC National Executive Committee member Pallo Jordan - that the party has lost its credibility.

Speaking at the Bisho massacre memorial lecture in King William's Town on Friday, Jordan said the ANC's credibility was at its lowest in 22 years.

He says the ANC is in crisis because of internal corruption and a lack of dignity within the party.

Political analyst and professor of politics at the University of Johannesburg Adam Habib said the Marikana shooting highlighted the ANC had lost touch with its voters.

At least 34 miners were killed when police and striking Lonmin workers clashed in the North West's Marikana township on 16 August.

Miners are continuing to demand a salary of R12, 500, as they soon enter week four of their strike.

Habib said the Marikana tragedy spoke to the divide between rich and poor in South Africa's society.

"It seems to me that the growing belief that the ANC elite is looking after themselves and not being responsive to poor people's interests has contributed significantly to the growing divide.

"You see Lonmin executives earning large sums of money and you look at the conditions that the miners live in; this has brought to the fore, the crude version of black economic empowerment".

Habib commented that the tragedy happened under the watch of senior ANC members, including Lonmin shareholder Cyril Ramaphosa.

He said the "militarisation of the police service, which the ANC itself fostered in 2008," was another matter brought to the forefront by the Marikana killings.

Jordan's criticism comes as the ANC prepares to open the nomination process for a new leadership in October, amid internal battles.

Members will elect new leaders at the party's national conference in Mangaung this December.

Habib says the party goes to Mangaung factionalised in a number of ways.

"It is a very sick party at the moment and as long as the ANC doesn't acknowledge it, it will never be able to heal its divides.

"As a whole, the party's legitimacy is being strained among a variety of quarters in society."