SELLO LEDIGA: The MKMVA is the ANC's passionate worst
While having a chat with a friend and the conversation drifted towards politics, I repeated the tired mantra that the problem with Africa was its leadership. In exasperation, he cut me short. “No broer, there is nothing wrong with African leaders. The problem is with African citizens who allow themselves to be abused and have proved to be perennial fools. Instead of taking responsibility, they return these greedy and corrupt leaders to power in every election. Look at Zim. Despite the fact Zanu PF has destroyed Zimbabwe, they still enjoy the support of Zimbabweans. How do you explain that?”
That made me think. After a while I recalled the celebrated poem by WB Yeats with the title The Second Coming in which the poet writes that:
“While the best lack all conviction,
The worst are full of passionate intensity.”
This reminded me of the shenanigans of the divided and factionalised ruling party in South Africa, the glorious movement called the African National Congress. The past Monday, Yeats' message hit home with devastating effect when I saw the worst in the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party's toy soldiers, MKMVA, march to the headquarters of the Movement at Luthuli House in Johannesburg to submit their memorandum of grievances to their commanders Ace Magashule and Carl Niehaus.
Dressed in their military fatigues of the erstwhile army Umkhonto we Sizwe, members pranced, sang and danced in gay abandon against their own party.
It was the wrong group marching.
The people who should be marching to Luthuli House are hundreds of thousands of ANC members who love their party and their country and who should be demanding ethical leadership from their leaders as they hold them accountable for all the shenanigans that now define Luthuli House.
For the first time in ANC history, the toy soldiers demanded implementation of conference resolutions. Do you have an idea how many resolutions the ANC has adopted since 1991 after its unbanning? What percentage of those resolutions have been implemented since? Why would it change this time? This march will prove significant when we look back at when the campaign to remove President Cyril Ramaphosa started.
The reality of the matter is that the ruling party is so fractured and weak that it does not morally deserve to be governing this country at this juncture.
The people of this country demand a capable and united government, not factions permanently at war with each other to the detriment of the state as the Reserve Bank episode demonstrated. It is under the ANC government that South Africa has been looted to practical bankruptcy. While all state owned companies have collapsed, demanding bailouts from the every willing taxpayer, nearly all ANC-run municipalities are dysfunctional while more than 30 of them were allegedly unable to pay salaries last month.
The auditor general has just released a report that is nothing else but an indictment on the ruling party. Nothing really works where the black, green and gold governs. The tragedy about this situation is that hundreds of thousands of ANC members are good people who love both their party and their country, except for a few of political fools who believe the party comes before the country.
Dr David Masondo, the principal of the ANC political school, must forcibly subject these misguided morons to Patriotism 101 that the country comes first.
There are two things that must happen. First, the best in the ANC must awake from their slumber and reclaim the party of Oliver Tambo from the political thugs who continue to run it from Luthuli House. Unfortunately, this appears very unlikely at this juncture. While Ramaphosa and his Cabinet strut the globe seeking foreign investment to grow the economy, Magashule and his tribe are re-capturing the organisation after Nasrec. I
t was none other than Ngoako Ramatlhodi who testified at the Zondo commission that before Zuma and the Guptas captured the state, they started with the ANC first. Should the good people in the ruling party fail to reclaim their party from the scoundrels at Luthuli House, the voters of South Africa must liberate themselves in the next election.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is a decent and capable man who saved the ANC from certain defeat in the 2019 general election. This was said by the party's election guru, Fikile Mbalula, who has been rewarded with Transport ministry for leading the party to victory, leaving Ramaphosa exposed at the party headquarters where Magashule is deploying his factional comrades to take key positions that will be crucial in the 2022 party conference. In fact, they are so desperate, it is alleged they are planning to remove their anti-corruption Thuma Mina president at the 2020 national general council, an unlikely place for a party putsch.
The march by MKMVA to Luthuli House represents the first shot in an impending brutal battle for the soul of the ANC. It is the height of irony that while Ramaphosa is the only hope for the electoral survival of the party, it is the senior leadership of his party that is plotting his downfall. What a tragedy!
The ANC today is nothing else but a cauldron of factional battles and broedertwis, with Ramaphosa leading the good guys while Magashule is at the helm of the remnants of the gargantuan Zuma patronage network, whose looting has virtually collapsed our democratic state. Eskom, SAA, Denel, SABC and other SOEs bear testimony to the Zuma-Magashule pillage. Poor Ramaphosa is spending sleepless nights and trotting the globe to undo the damage caused by beneficiaries of corruption and state capture in his own party. In a way he is held captive by his fellow comrades whose fear of jail after their industrial-scale looting of the democratic state means they will do anything in their power to remain free rather than face the consequences of their crimes.
For the sake of us all, president Ramaphosa MUST succeed to defeat this dangerous faction. The consequences of his defeat are too ghastly to contemplate. Who will save Ramaphosa ?
The greatest indictment in this scenario should go the thousands of well meaning ANC cadres who, while they led the struggle for liberation, are now helplessly and uselessly scattered in a plethora of social media groups daily, condemning the scoundrels who run their party instead of taking responsibility. A generation of struggle activists, the only battalion that can save both the party and the state, is churning out millions condemnatory words on social media on a daily basis against their party. The comforts of a middle class lifestyle have defeated them. They are no longer activists but armchair critics with lots of airtime and bundles to text and tweet endlessly. They are betraying South Africa as we wait in great anticipation to see how the Ramaphosa-Magashule battle will finally pan out without their a activism and leadership.
They are a funny tribe that, during election campaigns, constituted a formidable machinery for the ANC in its perpetual quest for a landslide victory, but inexplicably assumed a frustrating sheepishness after victory. Like their counterparts in Zimbabwe's Zanu PF, they are blind loyalists of the “glorious movement”, even when their personal and political interests are trampled upon by their incompetent and thieving comrades who they return to power in every conference. Although they may not be aware of it, their cowardice and blind loyalty makes them traitors to the common good that they sacrificed their lives for. They are Yeats's “best who lack all conviction” by surrendering to “the worst full of passionate intensity” in their party.
Sello Lediga is a social commentator, author and CEO of the Patriotic Movement, a civil society organisation that promotes patriotism in SA.