Title: Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (16: Outdated ANC)
Gabriel P Louw
Extraordinary Researcher, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa (Author and Researcher: Healthcare, History and Politics).
Prof. Dr GP Louw; MA (UNISA), PhD (PU for CHE), DPhil (PU for CHE), PhD (NWU)
Keywords: Deployment, lifestyle, outdated, reconstruction, setup, uplifting, ANC, Marxist-Leninism.
Ensovoort, volume 40 (2019), number 11: 6
In 1998, more than two decades ago, the chartered accountant and writer, Anthony Ginsberg1, penned an excellent book, titled: South Africa’s Future: From crisis to prosperity, on the prospects of South Africa and how it would prosper in twenty years from that date on. He clearly identified the wrongs of Apartheid against most of the Blacks and how the system allegedly devastated their economic, social and political lives. He points out that in 1991 (three years before the New Dispensation) the poverty level had reached an immense 77% in the former homelands, namely the Transkei, Bophutswana, Venda and Ciskei, while so much as 49% of households throughout the country (including the homelands) were living in poverty. In this setup, the poverty level of the whites had decline, rising from 3% in 1975 to 9.5% in 1991, but it was insignificant in comparison to the poverty levels which black people were experiencing. At that time 70% (31 million) of the total population had been classified as poor, with 75% of the poor living in rural areas. Statistics of 1975 also show that 53% of the total population consumed less than 10% of South Africa’s total consumption against the rest of the population’s consumption of 40%. It was also noted that the country at that time experienced a bloated civil service; between 1937 and 1966 the white population increased by 70% and the total population by only 87%, while the civil service grew by 276% (mostly Whites).1
So, many of the ills of present-day South Africa are thus not new, including unemployment, a weak currency, crime, etc. But in 1998 it was expected by Ginsberg1 that most of the country’s ills would be successfully addressed in five to ten years of the ANC being at the helm in terms of their promises and boasts of good governance. It was assumed that all the then negative statistics would be halved in a decade of two and that our natural resources, human capital and established infrastructure would be used to its fullest extent to make the country one of the par with high-performing small countries in the world. The outcomes on all the terrains of the ANC rule were quite the opposite: in 2019 all the systems are in chaos, to such an extent that many political analysts describe the country as on the brink of collapse. Foreigners see South Africa over time becoming another ungovernable third world country.1
We see in the present day South Africa more inequality and poverty than 20 years ago, notwithstanding our new democratic dispensation. The chaos of 1994 was still prominent in the South Africa of 1998 when Ginsberg completed his research, notwithstanding the ANC regime’s alleged “golden” upliftment of the poor and landless blacks through the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), Gear, BBBEE and cadre-deployment. The tragic state of dire poverty is still widespread in 2019. Ginsberg’s1 portrayal of 21 years ago is particularly instructive on the state of the country when he writes1:29:
The disparity in the lifestyles of blacks and whites remains so stark that to this day one feels as if one is entering entirely different countries when passing from a black to a white neighbourhood. On the outskirts of my native city Cape Town, which lies on the south-westernmost tip of Africa and is surrounded by the most gorgeous beaches and mountains, the squatter camps of Crossroads and Khayelitsha have some of the worst third-world conditions imaginable. The white suburbs less than ten miles away exceed even the luxurious standards of many, first world countries’ wealthiest neighbourhoods.
He continues1:29: “Although under a new constitution, blacks now have the right to vote, this does not in any way ensure that they will begin to enjoy the fruit of prosperity in the near future”. It is clear that Ginsberg1 never meant this “near future” to be too far beyond 1989. But yet in 2019 (thirty years later) the ANC regime has failed to bring about a significant improvement to the poverty stricken masses and landless who had voted them into parliament. In fact, they have failed the masses spectacularly — those who voted and trusted them — as is prevalent in their many nefarious activities, witnessed in the state capture (costing the state more or less R1-trillion), as well in their failed and misguided land redistribution and upliftment programmes which was also overshadowed by capture. One of the most frequent excuses offered by the leadership of the ANC regime is that it is the negative impact of the ongoing phantoms of Apartheid and sabotage by white capitalists which have been nullifying all their good efforts and achievements to uplift the poor masses and landless blacks.1
Makhanya2 also warns against these dangerous political phantoms (better known as the party’s political populists or opportunists which include many other ANC personalities and not only the accused Jacob Zuma and Ace Magashule). They are still prominent in the government of the day while their well-established networks in the greater ANC are still functioning. Makhanya2 writes2:2: “When Zuma was removed, he left behind an intact network that had developed a life of its own. He may still be spiritual godfather of this network, but it no longer needed him as its raison d’être”. Makhanya continues2:2: “Populism is well incubated in the country’s majority party. It is not just the rot Zuma left behind that needs to be rooted out if South Africa is to rise.”
The presence of these various tainted networks and some of their rabble-rousing leaders misusing court interventions and interferences for their own benefit, especially court interdicts, have seemingly since May 2019 become the latest tools to keep their past misdemeanours and their future dubious intentions out of the public eye and their critics in absolute silence. Makhanya’s2 stern warning must not be ignored when he writes2:2:
These populists despise the constraints on power that come with regular democracy. Institutions such as an independent judiciary, a free media and a vibrant civil society are anathema to them. They also like to have partners in their criminality as this “binds them [the partners] to the regime” and they reward supporters with patronage to “assure compelling loyalty and mass allegiance”. They also make out that those who don’t support them are threatened “by losing jobs or benefits”. This minimises the need to resort to direct repression.
Populists also love conspiracies – there’s always some other force to blame for society’s woes and your own failings. That manufactured ogre comes in the form of bullying foreign governments, rebellious civil society and “unpatriotic” opposition.
The truth of this failure is firstly because the ANC regime lacks the leadership and political expertise and know-how to implement a decent upliftment programme. Secondly, their ill-intended tendency to appropriate assets, fired-up by their opportunism as Marxist-Leninist-politicians, therefore make them focus not on the interests of the masses who need them urgently, but solely on the satisfaction of their own interests and that of their cadre favourites. Thirdly, is there blame-shifting by the ANC elite, making others responsible for their failures as politicians (as already reflected with Apartheid being cited as such a reason); very similar to what Robert Mugabe always did to cover up his crimes (ranging from murder to theft) against his own people. Ginsberg1: reflects1:55:: “…he [Mugabe] has often put his own interests above those of his countrymen. One can only hope that South Africa’s political leaders do not fall into the same trap. As unemployment continues to rise in South Africa, let us hope that our government will be willing to admit to at least some of its failures and be prepared to re-examine its failed policies. A government in self-denial is dangerous”.
On the ANC elite’s constant escape from their accountability and responsibility towards South Africans specifically, together with the fact that their minds are apparently occupied by opportunism while ignoring the rights of others, Ginsberg writes1:54-55:
It is not good enough for our leaders to keep deflecting criticism on the management of our country away from themselves and to always be defensive about our problems. Shouting “Racism!” when international observers criticise the lack of job creation, slow economic growth and our crime wave does not help our course, but rather lose much credibility in their eyes. President Mandela caused jitters among international investors when he scapegoated almost every conceivable non-ANC entity, and whites in particular, at the 1997 ANC Mafikeng conference. It is time to grow up and take some responsibility.
Just as Robert Mugabe must find a scapegoat while the economy of Zimbabwe crumbles and food riots spread, sadly South Africa may be headed for a situation where government’s non-delivery will just be blamed on apartheid – not only in 1998 but even 20 years from African countries from now. Foreign observers wonder whether we Africans will ever take responsibility for our actions. Are out leaders just so arrogant that they believe they can do not wrong? Impartial observers often wonder in amazement whether it is always some secret conspiracy that prevents African countries from succeeding.
When an observer compares suffering of South African blacks from the scourge of poverty and disorder to that of the suffering of the citizens of Bosnia in the late-1980s, it seems that time has been running out to start the repair of the country. Ginsberg in 1998 reflects1:39: “During the past few years we have seen the Bosnia tragedy unfold before our eyes, and our hearts go out to the innocent victims. However, many of our very own neighbourhoods, townships and cities are mini-Sarajevos every night of the week”.
South Africa is experiencing a crisis. It was already clearly manifested in 1998 when Ginsberg warns1:56: “This is no time for complacency in South Africa — we are at a crossroads. Our country is in crisis, whether we like it or not” and1:36: “All South Africans should be aware of the stark reality facing the country. As true patriots the wealthy cannot afford to cocoon themselves from the ills that surrounded them – the poverty has spread throughout South Africa and will destroy our country if something is not done about it”.
Today, 20 years after Ginsberg1 voiced serious concerns and questions about the ANC elite’s integrity and whether South Africa will be improved by the party, the answer is no: They are a failed government and failed leaders; a regime run by an indictable elite which has deliberately steered the country into far more chaos than any good citizen in 1998 could ever have anticipated. The ANC’s failure is highlighted by its obsoleteness.
Central in above comprehensive chaos are two prominent determinants which will be further investigated in this article: the ANC as a regime and the ANC leadership.
1.1. Introduction (Continued from Article 15)
Article 16 is a continuation of the previous article 15, titled: “Critical in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (15: Opportunism)”. This article forms part of a sequence together with articles 11 to 15 on the ANC which have already been published. The intention is also to offer an analysis and further discuss the arguments, opinions and viewpoints on the integrity and the ability of the ANC to manage land expropriation successfully as reflected by its CVs and Attestations.
1.2. Aims of article 16 (Continued from Article 15)
The primary intention of this project on the ANC is to continue the reflection on the three main political parties in particular, and to describe the profile of the ANC in the same way as was done in Article 9 on the EFF and Article 10 on the DA.
In this article, the primary aim is to determine how the ANC leadership role and its organisation have influenced the mindsets of some of the ANC elite as well how it affected the party as the mandated ruler of South Africa.
2. Method (Continued from Article 15)
The research was done by means of a literature review. This method aims to construct a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is been used in modern political-historical research where there is often not an established body of research, as is the case about the abilities of political parties to successfully coordinate land reform from 2019 onwards. The sources include articles from 2018, books for the period 1944 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2017 to 2019. These sources were consulted to gauge and to describe the facts that must guide us in eventually reaching an evaluation on the suitability of the ANC as the ruler of South Africa tasked to carry out successful land-reform in 2019.
The research findings are presented in a narrative format.
3. Results and discussion
In this article the public referees of the African National Congress will further be reflected upon, evaluated and described in the under-mentioned division 3.3: The African National Congress: Perspective 1994 to 2019. The focus is on assessing the leadership and organisation of the ANC.
3.2. Louw Appraisal Checklist
The Louw Appraisal Checklist to Assess the Leadership Qualities of South Africa’s Executive Political Leaders and Regimes: 1652 to 2018,3 will again be used for the quantitative classification and measuring of available political records on the ANC. The 82 selected items on the checklist on leaders and governments, quantified in terms of its bad-versus-good-classification, was again applied to all information collected in the literature review of the party’s manifesto and the reports by investigative journalists, political commentators and political analysts and interpreted as the researcher sees it applicable.
3.3. The African National Congress: Perspective 1994 to 2019 (Continued from article 15)
3.3.1. Outdated ANC
126.96.36.199. ANC politburo bottle-in by Marxist-Leninist-socialism
To understand the logic of the ANC elite and the activities of the successive ANC regimes since 1994, is it important to understand the ideology informing their politics and how they manage their political aims and intentions. It is Marxism-Leninism, executed by a politburo consisting of the ANC Top Six and the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC), with an empowered secretary-general and the leader of the ANC as its president. (The president of the party is also appointed as the State-president if the ANC is mandated as the ruler). The ANC’s political plans and decisions, to be executed over five years, together with the elections of its president, secretary-general and other officials, are done by the ANC delegates (between 4 000 and 5 000 ANC members), representing all its branches countrywide, at the party’s national conferences. These decisions, known as resolutions, are compulsory for the president and his cabinet to execute over the five years of the ANC’s term in office and before the next national conference. The ANC’s political organisation and structure are equal to that of the outdated Stalinist model of dictatorship, even if it is at this stage less extreme.
It is clear from the mass of political comments, that not even seasoned political analysts always understand from which base the ANC elite has been operating. Kgosana4 bring these shrouded, dangerous policies and hidden ideologies of some of today’s ANC leaders to the foreground, quoting the economist Dawie Roodt4, when he writes4:2: “We don’t know the ANC’s real ideology. Whether it is a neo-liberal or a communist organisation”.
The fact is that there has been little understood of the deeply cemented, unchangeable ideology of the ANC: a Marxist-Leninist organisation, falsely parading since 1994 as a so-called democratic party inside South Africa’s peculiar electoral system. This is a political fallacy, cloaked by the ANC’s quasi-neoliberalism: opportunistic revolutionary leaders who are unable to create anything are instead driven by their skill in appropriating state assets as the Communists of the 1900s had done.
A central issue has been the constant demand that Cyril Ramaphosa must without hesitation get rid of Ace Magashule and Jacob Zuma and cleanse them from the ANC politics or that Ramaphosa must reform the economy into a Western capitalist model to attract foreign investments without delay, in order to create work and to pull the country back from the brink of disaster. Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan are seen as the “right” persons to privatise the failed SOEs as SABC, SAA, and Eskom (and it is even believed by many outsiders that the ANC indeed will be following this road to political redemption). Especially Mboweni has loudly been expressing his misgivings in public about the Ramaphosa regime’s intention to privatise the SOEs and to fire thousands of useless (assumed black) workers from these failed institutions in the near future. Also, the recent “Mboweni-Plan” is praised in the media and by some political analysts as the imminent arrival of an economic utopia which will change the country. The reality is that this is not true and his announcements are clever manipulations of public opinion par excellence.5-14
Firstly, all these promises are mostly hot air and empty – they will never become reality. The basis of this “good” story-telling is to calm the international and local financial markets by falsely presenting how the country is being steered on a fresh capitalist course in terms of ANC economic policy and at the same time an effort to uphold the already poor rating of South Africa; And of course, to keep South Africans happy and in the dark. What happens next year does not count at this stage – the ANC leadership sorely lacks the ability to plan for the future and they will most probably address tomorrow’s problems with other set of empty rhetorical statements when they arrive. Secondly, the ANC’s communist economic and political policy never be changed to a capitalist one, and no workers will be fired in their thousands by the Ramaphosa regime. Such moves are against the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist socialism. And without Marxism-Leninism deeply imbedded in their psyche, there is no ANC. Indeed, at this stage the ANC thinking has been imprinted on the Constitution of the South African state, in terms of its communist intention, and is so far developed and established that in the near future a drift towards radical economic transformation is all but certain. And this will frankly not resemble a democratic, Western-orientated capitalist model as expected by most white South Africans and businessmen.5-14
It does not really concern the ANC elite that the country is hovering on the verge of bankruptcy. They want (and create) this chaos for opportunistic reasons inspired by their political ideology which strongly advances the notion of taking from others. The ANC-elite is well aware — most of them have strong roots in various labour unions or the SACP — that any challenge of the unions on their member rights and the introduction of hard-core capitalism, will automatically mean the end of the ANC regime, and of course also of the over-ambitious ANC elite’s exclusive hold on positions in the country’s governance. Cosatu and the SACP will by no means allow any form of capitalism or an economy run by any of the successful white capitalists. Ramaphosa, Mboweni and Gordhan know it well: all three come from Marxist-Leninist backgrounds. Mboweni’s and Gordhan’s rhetoric on full-on privatisation is really just well-planned and misleading political statements. The ANC regime’s so-called “couldn’t care less about the economy” is well reflected by their intention to expropriate land without compensation from mostly whites, notwithstanding the immense negative impact it is going to have on the economy. As noted before, there is a clear plan taking shape within the Ramaphosa regime to first create chaos and then to grab land.5-14
Although the present-day chaotic economic situation could force the ANC elite to look for outside financial support from the IMF or the World Bank (with their exclusive prescriptions to borrowers on how to govern their countries), such an option is not on the cards yet (and has up to now been deliberately avoided) – the Reserve Bank and the public and private pension-funds are already within reach of the ANC elite. They could be dipping into these monies with the same ease as they did in capturing the state. What many pundits and analysts of the Western, democratic political persuasion have missed, is that an economic chaos – which is being used as a tool to launch a revolution – would create the ideal conditions for the ANC elite to intervene and interfere without an election. This would enable them to finally claim the entire South African state as their Marxism-Leninism prize. Troubled by present-day problems and outcomes — including the unfinished land expropriation issue and erasing the last vestiges of white political and economic power and alleged supremacy — such an intervention could easily be assured.5-14
South Africans, as did the unlucky Venezuelans, will not escape Marxist-Leninist state capture and the enslavement of the masses if the ANC stays on as the ruler of the country after 2024. For the ANC elite this outcome is neither devastation nor madness, but a political utopia.15
The tragedy is that the poverty-stricken black masses, having been traumatised over many years by colonialism and apartheid, as well as cronic poverty and unemployment especially in the 25 years of ANC rule, has once again fallen prey to suppression and exploitation by a new political master. This time a black one – “supposedly one of us”, to quote Gumede16. Opportunistic black leaders and a new absolutist and oppressive government, entrenched by means of a racial vote, will rule them. So far, the ANC has been invited back to parliament at least six times by voters, but the last elections showed them to have only 28% support amongst the total population of voters. There will not be a chance for the ANC to return to parliament through the ballot box as easily again, and thus the danger of a coup can no longer be excluded.16
188.8.131.52. The ANC’s tripartite partners
The South African Communist Party (SACP) and Cosatu tripartite partnership with ANC and their present-day impact on the Ramaphosa regime, need to be studied in-depth. These two partners of the ANC have the potential to render the ANC’s ability to plan the execution of an effective, balanced and successful strategy around the land reform issue from 2019 onwards, ineffective should the ANC try to deviate an inch from their policy. The pro-Ramaphosa political commentators and media, including those capitalists supporting Cyril Ramaphosa as a modern day economic reformer, democrat and saviour of their assets, believe that these two partners as role-players only hold minimal political clout, lack real power to make a constructive contribution to the country’s executive or does not have enough influence to endanger the “new Ramaphosa ANC”. They are even described as political parasites. The two organisations are profiled by their opponents as being focused on promoting very negative racial and political thinking as well as advancing radicalism and autocracy. They are often pictured as the underwriters of destruction and anarchy, while private white landowners and their farms are the exclusive targets. Looking back to 1994, the political history of South Africa contradicts this so-called “insignificant” roles of the SACP and Cosatu inside the ANC, and neither are their political dogmas and intentions worse or necessarily more destructive than those of the ANC. They have, in various ways since 1994, influenced the ANC’s policies dramatically, mostly to force the ANC’s opportunistic politicians to tone down their rhetoric and to respect at least their own traditional communist principles.17-20
184.108.40.206.1. South African Communist Party (SACP)
It is very important to point out the media view of the SACP a so-called political “tarnished” organisation. Mthombothi writes in-depth on the so-called tarnishing and destructive activities of the SACP on the pre-2017 and post-2017 South African political scene of both the Zuma and Ramaphosa regimes. About the present empowerment of the SACP inside the greater ANC continuum to torpedo good political outcomes in the Ramaphosa administration’s term from 2019 to 2024 – he specifically noted the undermining of the balanced and justified allocation of the expropriated land to deserving poor black farmers. Thus Mthombothi19 critically postulates19:19:
The SACP is nothing but a lame appendage of the ANC. It’s doubtful whether it could exist without riding on the ANC’s coattails;
The SACP is nothing but a vehicle for Blade Nzimande and his cronies to access power and privileges that they otherwise could not…And yet he and a few select SACP apparatchiks sit on the national executive committee of the ANC and in Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet…;
It’s akin to a shareholder who has double voting rights in a company. The SACP has a disproportionate influence on government policy and yet has nothing to offer in return. It has no significant membership, no organisational power and no intellectual heft to speak of…;
It [the ANC] is governing for the benefit of not only its members but the entire population. It cannot be right, therefore, that it should be taking orders, suggestions or ideas from some external body [the SACP] with no public mandate of its own. That’s not democracy; it’s a new form of entryism.
It is a misconception that the SACP never has earned its place in the alliance. To say their stories of good politics are contradicted by their negative activities or that they are political parasites, may be true, but it is also fully applicable to the ANC as a Marxist-Leninist organisation which in its 25 years of reign has only grabbed assets belonging to others. The SAPC did not pollute the minds of Ramaphosa’s cadres with communism — sound democratic thinking, planning and effective measures were basically absent from the Ramaphosa group, making it impossible for the SACP to “contaminate” it further. Ramaphosa and his elite never intended to introduce or to adhere to democracy or a Western kind of economy: his admiration for classic Stalinist communism has been confirmed by his reliance, continuation and further strengthening of his brotherhood (coming from the Zuma regime’s days) recently with communist China. His statement on Chinese tech giant Huawei and his direct attacks on the USA’s policies serve as excellent examples of how much deeply in communism Ramaphosa’s political thinking is steeped, undoubtedly independent of the SACP’s communism.
The firm commitment to the communist cause by the ANC elite – starting from Nelson Mandela, and underwritten by Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and now seemingly also Cyril Ramaphosa — is the sole pillar of the ANC’s thrust in politics. Communism is also part of the ANC’s mindset just like it is in the SACP. What the alliance of the SACP and ANC for the ruling class indeed confirmed, was the unbreakable bond between them, founded on classic communist ideas found in abundance in both the ANC and the SACP.19-22
For Ramaphosa and his regime any ideological disputes and conflicts with the SACP could result in a situation in which both parties could suffer huge losses. Any sound politician in the ANC would think twice about disassociating themselves from the SACP. The allegations that the SACP’s garners only minimal voter support, has a poor standing among the general public, and that the SACP has not yet mastered the basics when it comes to human rights and how private assets should be viewed (worse than that of the ANC), is not true. There is some truth that in the long term — as an outcome of the deep political ANC-SACP relationship wherein the two groups have many political interests which are similar – that the SACP could swallow the ANC because of the party’s political failures to uphold Marxist-Leninist socialism and the basic rights of the masses of poor and landless blacks. The arrogance of the present leadership’s will to continue their infighting in the ANC — where the egos of insecure and substandard leaders are more important than the party’s ideologies and thus the practice of communism — seem to create the possibility of such a thrust and intervention by the SACP. This does not necessarily imply a direct confrontation, but the SACP could well start to undermine certain ANC policy decisions and initiate strikes with the assistance of Cosatu. The failure of Ramaphosa’s presidency (a clique of seemingly “anointed” leaders of the so-called Ramaphosa-clan), in his fight with leaders of the so-called Magashule-Zuma clan, waiting in the aisles for an opportunity to present itself to take over the ANC regime, could eventually kick-start a full-blown campaign to bring the Ramaphosa-regime down. This outcome, of course, can be accelerated by the intention of the Ramaphosa-regime to privatise the various failed SOEs, suggesting that masses of workers of these SOEs could be fired in the event.
Notwithstanding that the SACP had declared dissatisfaction with the Jacob Zuma regime’s misadventures many times in the past (and has been voicing their concerns over the Ramaphosa regime’s activities in very strong terms once more), they did it not hesitate to profit from the large-scale corrupt activities of Zuma and his cronies. The SACP’s pre-1994 revolutionary base is still present in the organisation, which means that it blends well into the “radical and autocratic” activities of Jacob Zuma, as well as in the present so-called “democratic and capitalist” activities of Ramphosa. In present-day politics it also blends well into the EFF’s radicalism. With the present ANC politburo (ANC Top Six and ANC’s NEC) which relies on more or less a 50:50 support respectively from Ramaphosa and Magashule-Zuma, the SACP is undoubtedly remaining tactful towards their alliance partner and has been avoiding an all-out conflict with the ANC regime under Ramaphosa. The SACP is waiting patiently to see which of the two so-called factions of the greater ANC will be taking over the reins to rule by the end of 2024. There is no doubt that SACP’s favourate future political partner is the so-called Zuma-faction, because of their openness to communism/radical economic transformation as the preferred economic policy. For Ramaphosa the SACP could spell disaster, either as an ally or an enemy, if he dares to clip their wings in any way. As with Ramaphosa’s forced cooperation with the Magashule-Zuma-leadership to remain in power in the unstable ANC to guarantee some sort of precarious unity, Ramaphosa is also dependent for his own survival on the support of the SACP.19-22
On the negative reception by the SACP regarding the recent so-called “Mboweni-plan” to restructure the economy in a so-called “capitalist” way, is it clear that the SACP has been entertaining quite the opposite ideas on the matter: namely to kill privatisation and at the same time to launch nationalisation schemes. Notable is the SACP’s intention to expand the mandate of the Reserve Bank, suggesting a move towards the whole-scale nationalisation of the institution. On paper, it is certainly in conflict with the spirit of the ANC’s Mboweni plan. Furthermore, the SACP has slammed the Mboweni plan because of the proposals contained in it on microeconomics while ignoring macroeconomics. Although this stance appears to point to a deep ideological rift between the SACP and the ANC, must it be read in the context of how both entities have been attached to their Marxist-Leninist roots: in fact, on that score, there is no difference between the two. The alleged “obstruction” caused by Mboweni must be seen foremost as a way to pretend that a difference between the two exists in order to show foreign investors that the ANC elite intends to rehabilitate the economy (and to keep the rating agency Moody’s satisfied). It is at best some “democratic” window-dressing by the ANC regime. This feigned and duplicitous attitude is shared by the ANC elite as well as the SACP elite: in the end very little of Mboweni’s plan will be realised after the SACP, together with Cosatu, announce their intention to strike. The old ANC policy steeped in Marxist-Leninist thought will continue as usual, if not more focused. The SACP will never be booted out of the tripartite alliance as long as the ANC stays true to their radical communism.23
If the Ramaphosa regime dares to deviate from its political path, and decides to abandon radical economic transformation as prescribed by the ANC’s Freedom Charter, it also turns its back on the interests of the workers and poor black masses. It would be seen as a failure to advance the aims and intentions of Marxism-Leninism to “better” the position of the black working community and the poor masses – as has been reflected in the ANC regime’s notions on the level of local governance for many years already – and Ramaphosa can expect a backlash from the SACP. In this context it is reported by Mvumvu24 that the SACP has been mulling with the idea to fly solo in the coming 2021 local government elections, particularly in those administrations that have collapsed under the control of the ANC. The immediate intention is to once again “make the SACP directly visible” to the greater community as an active and dynamic political entity operating on a higher level than its present status as so-called “non-political party” inside the tripartite alliance. A such, it could address the people’s concern on health care, education, crime, corruption, etc. This move also implies a more radical intervention in the community — not excluding actual physical intrusions on these matters. Mvumvu writes that the SACP is keeping its options open also for the 2024 general elections in case the Ramaphosa regime fails to reform the ANC in terms of Marxist-Leninist socialism and thus to implement the long awaited radical economic, social and political transformation it had promised the poverty-stricken black masses and landless people pre-1994. Indeed, it seems as if the SACP — if the ANC as a regime collapses under its present elite — intends to eventually revert back to its identity as a classic communist organisation in the tripartite alliance. Ramaphosa knows the consequences that this move would hold for him and the ANC. Solly Mapaila24, the deputy general secretary of the SACP, gives the ANC a clear warning that it has been failing at upholding its own ideology of Marxism-Leninism, when he reflects24:4:
We are of the view that in order to hasten the pace of our revolution, we will require an alliance that functions effectively, but at the moment that alliance does not, for a variety of reasons.
We feel the national democratic revolution has stagnated and it needs some rejuvenation and maybe the SACP contesting elections will bring in that rejuvenation.
But the SACP will not allow itself to be undermined. We rejected that under former president Jacob Zuma and will reject it under any president.
220.127.116.11.2. Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu)
On the immense impact that the various trade unions have on the present-day ANC policies, especially the Cosatu-unions on Ramaphosa’s political thinking and doing, Mthombothi writes19:19:
One gets the distinct impression the government is afraid of the unions. It bends over backwards to appease them. Announcing the restructuring of Eskom in parliament, Ramaphosa went out of his way to assure all and sundry there won’t be any retrenchments. The consummate negotiator was tying his hands behind his back before the negotiations even started. Everyone knows Eskom is overstaffed and a great many workers will have to be let go if the turnaround is to succeed.
They’ve [Cosatu-unions] become more than just unions; they’re power brokers. They decide who runs the country. We rightly condemn the burnings and destruction at universities and in townships up and down the country, but such practices started with unions trashing towns and city centres. And the government did nothing. The police stood by and watched, because they too are union members. The damaging effects of South African Democratic Teacher’s Union activities on the education system are well known – teachers holding union meetings during school hours, teaching posts being sold, head teachers being killed for taking up posts earmarked for union members, all without any consequences.
The Cosatu-unions (as the many other non-alliance unions), notwithstanding their more and more diminishing membership numbers and their lack of a significant direct political impact as was shown by their poor direct participation in the May 2019 elections, could very well influence the political direction and destabilise the economy, create unrest, anarchy and even foment a revolution. Most of their demands, although they are often intended to improve the dire situation of the poor, are mostly unrealistic and based on populism and the dismantling of so-called white capital, since the whites are mainly seen as the “sole culprits” responsible for all the present wrongs of the country. In addition, in this Cosatu-ANC-alliance, the outright failure of the ANC as a black regime to uplift the poor black masses over the last 25 years, has for a long time been ignored by Cosatu because of its own opportunistic interests. But since Ramaphos came to power, his two political servants Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan, have not hesitated to estrange and anger Cosatu on a daily basis. The response from Cosatu has since become direct and very aggressive towards the Ramaphosa regime. And while Ramaphosa’s fear of the so-called Magashule-Zuma clan and the SACP is growing, so is his fear for Cosatu’s immense disrupting power and impact on his regime. Ramaphosa as an old unionist himself, knows very well what the impact of the unions in the 1960s and 1970s had meant to destabilise the regime of the Apartheid’s National Party (NP).17-20
Cosatu as well as the SACP have already shown their disagreement with the Ramaphosa regime on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s recently proposed economic reform to deal with what the Treasury identifies as South Africa’s “unsustainable current trajectory”, writes Saunderson-Meyer25 on the 28th September 2019 in the Saturday Citizen. The hostile stance of Cosatu, together with the SACP, was clearly highlighted regarding the proposed economic reform by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) of September 2019. Saunderson-Meyer writes25:12: “Cosatu wants the document withdrawn, since it makes government’ incoherent, confused and unreliable’. The SACP sees in it the sinister hand of neo-liberal elites like the OECD, seeking to undermine the ‘integrity of SA sovereignty’”.
It is reported in the media that Tito’s economic plan had been accepted and that he had obtained the support of the ANC-NEC to get rid of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are malfunctioning, described in the media as such because26:3: “…it became clear from his smile and cracking of jokes with journalists at the media conference that Mboweni has had his way as the governing ANC top brass largely accepted his economic recovery plan…”. The reaction of Cosatu (as well as the SACP) indicates in this powerplay, both Tito Mboweni and Cyril Ramaphosa could be caught-up in wishful fantasies on how an economy actually functions under Marxist-Leninist socialism. Firstly, Cosatu noted after the meeting that it was their understanding that the ANC-NEC would not discuss Mboweni’s economic policy plan (which has failed as far as Cosatu is concerned because it does not include other departments in the economic cluster and Cosatu rejects it because of the privatisation and other fundamental changes to the SOEs contained in it). According to them it would only be a basic overview of the economy as based on the National Treasury’s proposals and the plans of relevant parties. It seems that the proposals accepted by the NEC (and with the famous smiling “nod” by Mboweni that his economic restructuring was in fact accepted) exclude serious labour issues and that this outstanding issues with Cosatu and the SACP were still to be finalised at the multi-stakeholder meeting, the Alliance Political Council (a forum of the leaderships of ANC, SACP and Cosatu). In this context is it important to note the warning remark by the chair of the ANC’s economic transformation sub-committee, Enoch Godongwa, namely that the NEC’s acceptance of the Mboweni-plan does not mean that it was also accepted by the SACP and Cosatu. It still has to be finalised with the two alliance-partners, which shows that the ANC-regime’s intent to block any future economic manoeuvres successfully.26
The above remark of Godongwa reflects on the possible presence of serious conflicts inside the tripartite alliances. The editor of The Citizen of the 3rd Oct. 2019 may possibly be correct in surmising that it was not an exaggeration to say the current political and economic situation in South Africa has suddenly brought the ANC to one of the most critical cross-roads in its history. The challenge for the Marxist-Leninist ANC, which is supposed to be focused largely on workers’ rights, is now, after 25 years of its’ failed rule, confronted by the reality that financially the country is in deep trouble. It may be quite correct to say that the country needs a large dose of “harsh fiscal medicine” from the capitalists to heal the matter, but such intervention is totally contrary to its Marxist-Leninist policies by virtue of being a traditional revolutionary organisation. A sudden, unpredictable and opportunist political move by the ANC in this regard, would signal a huge shift and would present too much of a challenge for the radical political mindsets present in the SACP and Cosatu, triggering efforts to obstruct Mboweni’s economic reforms and for the first time, a large-scale conundrum for the ANC as a political entity. A crossroad may have been reached for the ANC, as well as for its two tripartite partners.27 The editor27 of The Citizen writes in this context27:12:
His [Mboweni] views make him seem, to the ANC’s leftist allies in the tripartite alliance – the Congress of SA trade unions (Cosatu) and the SA Communist Party (SACP) – to be a latter-day black Margaret Thatcher. When British prime minister in the ‘80s, she applied similar bitter pills to a country ruled by the trade unions…and, many believe, put it back on the path to prosperity.
South Africa’s unions are, by comparison, more powerful than even their British counterparts were then and the ANC is still beholden to them for bringing in the workers’ vote.
So, expect a battle royal ahead: Cosatu and organised labour will not allow this capitalist cure to be shoved down their throats without an all-out fight.
Notable in the editorial warning was that at this stage, although the ANC-NEC’s meeting of September 2019 seems to still seem “favourable” to Ramaphosa and company due to a so-called “reconcilable vision” of the various factions in the ANC-tripartite alliance and Top Six at Luthuli-house, there are also hidden nefarious intentions and plans by Cosatu and the SACP which may undoubtedly come into play soon. Both can, within a short time, create a very unfavourable setup for Ramaphosa to rule effectively and bring an abrupt end to his long-suffering political paralysis.25-27
On the immediate intentions and quality of the Mboweni-plan, Joffe writes that the two-year-old, 77-page policy document is hardly a scintillating read. In real life it is a political move rather than an economic plan. It is unclear and unsure if it will actually encourage the Ramaphosa regime to improve. Put succinctly, the plan does not offer any solutions on any of the pressing economic matters, neither on the country’s financial credit ratings nor on its massive debts and the resolve to address it28 The Mboweni-plan does not underscore the failure of the ANC’s economic model nor does it highlight the many shortcomings in its reconstructing and rebuilding approach, especially in the state’s debt payments. Joffe writes29:2: “The government is already borrowing just to pay the interest on its debt, which is already more than R200b a year. It is paying in interest more than 15c of every rand it collects in tax”.
It must further be noted that the so-called “Mboweni-plan” is a compilation of various previous so-called ANC development plans, hailing from the late-1990s, which resulted in the ANC’s 2011 National Development Plan and is now re-cycled to a great extent as the ANC’s 2019 Development Plan. For the SACP and Cosatu is its content thus not new, making it at the end just another case of letting out hot air by the ANC. Despite the noise made by the Ramaphosa regime about its Mboweni plan, it is clearly not meant to ever be implemented, but serves only to manipulate the broad public, the business sector and foreign investors. For this reason Cosatu and the SACP policies will be left unscathed. The ANC’s (and the SACP and Cosatu) radical Marxist-Leninist politics will be kept intact, notwithstanding the chaos it is going to bring. There is not such a thing as an “emergency plan” in the ANC’s bag of tricks to bring about an economic turn-around.25-28,30-32
The editor33 of the Sowetan noted on Ramaphosa’s aim to seemingly solve the present national emergency by means of the inputs of new panels of expert advisers as well as new commissions of investigation, shows that these measures will not address the issues the country is facing and will leave his regime’s problems unchanged. Ramaphosa is confused about how capitalist economies come into being and are run because he himself has been deeply involved for years now in the ANC’s politics of chaotic Marxist-Leninist economics. Therefore, his current efforts to forcefully introduce change, are efforts that should have been done at the beginning of 2018. The editor writes33:12: “Time is not on Ramaphosa’s side and setting up new task teams and commissions to investigate this or that economic become policy option is a luxury he can no longer afford. What is required now is a clear plan and decisive implementation”. Such an implementation can be the final straw for Cosatu.
Ramaphosa’s recent appointment of the new Presidential Economic Advisory Council, to ensure greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy and to see to it that the government and society are in general better equipped to respond to changing economic circumstances, already seems to be stalled by the tripartite alliance’s disharmony on the Mboweni plan. It seems that Ramaphosa has forgotten that Marxist-Leninist ideology is part of the deep-seated beliefs of the ANC, Cosatu and the SACP in spite of continued challenges to the revolutionary ideology of the tripartite alliance. The recent September NEC meeting can indeed be his high noon, making the chances of triggering his recall in 2020 more and more of a reality.34
As mentioned earlier, the 2019 Mboweni plan (also known as the ANC’s 2019 Development Plan) is not a clear plan, neither does it offer implementations that are decisive to bring about a positive turn-around. Ramaphosa’s economic policy will therefore fail, as did those of all of his predecessors. There is no real intention to privatise Eskom or other SOEs. Neither is there the intention to cut down on the number of civil servants in the public service sector nor to lower the salaries of civil servants by 10%, notwithstanding the fact that the government has a shortfall of R120-billion, which includes the R59-billion to assist Eskom against an expected decline in income tax for the tax year ending 20 March 2020. The fact that the civil service’s salaries are 45% of the total income tax does not concern the ideologues of Marxist-Leninist socialism (especially not members of Cosatu). This chaos is therefore to be expected. The socialist-inspired worker politics of the ANC will not be changed as long as the ANC continues its partnership with Cosatu. And avoiding financial and economic chaos is not a priority for Cosatu.25-28,30-32,35,36
It was expected that his Finance Minister would be painting a bleak fiscal picture when he presented in late-October his medium-term budget, warned Joffe on 15th September 2019. Joffe36 postulates36:1: “… it is likely that rating agency Moody’s will put SA on alert for downgrade to junk status when it reviews the rating in November”, or that the: “…economy heads closer to final nail in junk status coffin”. In this mess-up stands the demand of Cosatu central.
It must be clear that the ANC is running out of realistic ideas and narratives in their efforts to solve the manifold South African problems which have been steadily growing. The unions and their workers are right when they demand that Ramaphosa at least get the basics right, like seeing to it that the training of teachers is improved, as well as healthcare services, municipal services, housing, work opportunities, etc.. This means abandoning the fantasies and grandeur present in their thinking and rhetoric — as with the implementation of 4IR, mega-cities, a mega export country, as well as to boost South Africa as a major role-player in the world’s politics and economics. This pipe dream might be realised sometime in the future but will be brought about by an able regime. Gumede37 focused on the presence of misplaced ANC grandeur in their political programmes well when he postulates37:20: “A basic-led growth requires pragmatism, inclusion and humbleness – which so far, sadly, have been in short supply”.
The Unions are going to be a threat to any ANC-regime and its exclusive “ANC-state” as long as there is a tripartite alliance in which a more and more demanding and strengthened Cosatu and the SACP eventually displace the increasingly disempowered ANC as the ruler. Transgressions by Cosatu’s members have been overlooked and this acceptance of corruption by the ANC regime without any reaction of disapproval or punishment, has become the order of the day – like municipal workers who threaten ordinary citizens with violence if they want to go to work, the blocking of major transport arteries to the CBDs of large cities, the trashing of city centres, while keeping judges and magistrates away from the courts, are but a few examples. Basically, not because the ANC and the unions have since teamed up as a Marxist-Leninist unit, but because the unions have overtaken the ANC as a political entity. On the growing, uncontrolled anarchy of union members, like those in August 2019 in Pretoria, Mthombothi38 writes that it seems not to attract the attention nor the dismay of the government in the nearby Union Buildings. For Mthombothi38 South Africa is in the grip of a “worker mentality” with an ANC-government in absent as rulers, and the situation became38:19: “…a case of hear no evil, see no evil. Who exactly runs this place? Is the government still in charge, or has it capitulated to anarchists? Lawlessness has been normalised. Demonstrations often turns violent, even in the presence of the police., who in some instances seem scared to intervene.
Mthombothi38 maintains that the unions should be seen as a specific part of the ANC regime because of their immense empowerment by means of the country’s extremely robust and union-friendly laws which have given workers access to an array of rights since 1994. It has empowered the workers to such an extent that when Thabo Mbeki tried to rein them in, they summarily ousted him from the political scene at the ANC’s national conference. On the possible presence of a similar disastrous fate hanging over the head of Ramaphosa, to be activated unexpectedly in the near future by Cosatu and the SACP, Saunderson-Meyer25 issues a warning to be understood together with the ANC leadership’s curse from 1994, when he posits25:12: “In 2008, former president Thabo Mbeki defied the unionists and the communists on the issue of SA’s economic direction. It earned him an early ‘recall’.
Ramaphosa depends on the approval of the labour unions as much as he is dependent on the ANC politburo for approval in order to stay on in the presidency. Any deviating from the unions’ basics rights and interests, also spells an ousting for Ramaphosa. Their possible future collaboration with the EFF and other anti-Ramaphosa factions to form a new power-block and the threat for instance posed by unions (as Nehawu, the biggest public workers’ union) to make the country ungovernable if their members are retrenched, have raised concern. Ramaphosa knows well that the unions brought him to power, but also that this relationship with them and his presidency is a temporary one, depending on whether he continues to promote instead of endangering of the unions’ interests. Mothibothi38 guides us about the empowerment of the unions and their secondary role in empowering Ramaphosa when he posits38:19: “…the unions are in bed with power – they are the king makers. Cyril Ramaphosa is president today thanks primarily to the unions, just as they have been responsible for elevating his predecessors. Such proximity is probably inoffensive, and even benign in good times. But the country is staring at an abyss and painful sacrifices will have to be made all round”.
In all his activities and rhetoric related to privatisation and capitalist-inspired reform of the economy, Ramaphosa has already bowed to the threats coming from the unions, as is well reflected by his announcement on the 10th October 2019 when he spoke in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Cape Town by saying there is “no plan to privatise Eskom”.39,40
The ANC, in supporting the SACP and Cosatu since 1994 as the ruling power, has slowly become isolated from its power base. It can no longer pride itself in being called the sole leader of South Africa. As a political party, the ANC is being cast in the shadow of the SACP and Cosatu. Taking into account its ability to only attract 28% of the total eligible voters (of which many votes were from the SACP and Cosatu, it is right to say the ANC is experiencing a crisis. Its shelf life is over. Any conflict with Cosatu and the SACP can bring about its collapse.
18.104.22.168. Post-2017 ANC faction-infights
One of the internal determinants leading to the failure of the ANC as the ruler in post-2019 South Africa is its present complete lack of unity as a party. In this context Stone and Modjadji43 pointed out that the ANC became an open battleground already in 2017 with the so-called warring factions that had gathered around certain leaders. The first faction of this kind that comes to mind is the anti-Zupta grouping versus the Zuma-supporters in 2017, with the organised effort to unseat Jacob Zuma as president of the ANC as well as State-president of South Africa. Noting the comments of political journalists and commentators, it seems that the initial internal battle or so-called internal strife has intensified since. What became clear is that these opponents within the party are fighting each other tooth and nail daily in order to cling to their positions, to grow their numbers and to strengthen their influence. The broad media coverage of the so-called “clans” inside the ANC reflects at times a well-focused effort to portray Cyril Ramaphosa as the one in the winner’s seat. But undoubtedly, outside of the ordinary public’s observations and the seemingly pro-Ramaphosa media, there is another side visible for the critical political observer: a group of well-rooted and politically empowered anti-Ramaphosa cadres. People such as Ace Magashule, Jacob Zuma, Supra Mahumaphelo and the dark horse “Cat” David Mabuza are alleged to be part of this grouping. These persons were not pushed out of the party’s elite corps after the December 2017 Nasrec conference and they are continuing to play a decisive role in the functioning of the organisation. Their growing influence was already seen in post-May 2019 with various senior appointments given to them by the Ramaphosa regime. The allegation is that the intentions of these so-called “opponents” of Ramaphosa are to make Ramaphosa a subordinate leader and lame-duck president by means of a slow, and well-planned scheme. In this alleged organised intention to undermine Ramaphosa’s stature as president, and push him into a diminishing role in the ANC elite, they have restarted the use of the ANC’s so-called principle of democratic-centralism, wherein every member is subordinated to the party’s national conference resolutions.41-48
After the December 2017 Nasrec conference two clear factions inside the greater ANC have stood out: the Ramaphosa-faction (the so-called ANC-doves) versus the Zuma-Magashule-faction (the so-called ANC-hawks). The term faction is sometimes replaced by clan to reflect the warlike intentions of these warring groups within the ANC. This division initially seems to reflect an ideological difference on policies of economics. It is further postulated that these factions have been seemingly split more or less 50:50 among the ANC law-makers, its Top-six and its’ NEC consisting of eight members. The division into two main groups have since become more rigid and extreme in the course of 2018. The split is no longer seen as a temporary one, but a permanent fixture within the ANC which is now composed of basically two main opposing groups, which have already formed a temporary alliance to maintain the greater ANC regime’s status and power.41-48
The media’s division of the ANC on the simple grounds that is presents a strict classification of good versus evil in their descriptions of two groups, is false. Can the Ramaphosa faction really be good only and the Magashule faction really be evil only? The division is much more complex. The presence of ideology, etc., plays a central and prominent role, including those specific elements that the different leaders are propagating, which again imply specific economic models, notions about the haves and have-nots and often also unashamed racism. This is well-reflected by Lagardien49 when he writes49:19: “Such a split would not be the much-speculated divide between the ANC and the SACP or Cosatu. On the surface, this split is between constitutionalists and loyal cadres. Rhetorically, the split is replicated as a pro-Zuma and a pro-Ramaphosa faction. In more radical populist discourse it is condemned as a clash between protectors of “white monopoly capital” and a “radical economic transformation” faction”.
The planned group-forming and vote-buying to support a certain leader and outright nefarious plotting during the election in December 2017 at Nasrec to oust a specific group’s leader, together with the exposure of the CR17 campaign’s millions to get Ramaphosa elected as president of the ANC, seem to have created much of the present bitterness between the Magashule-Zuma faction and Ramaphosa and had undoubtedly contributed to the extreme divisions in the greater ANC.47,50,51
Also, exposing an alleged R390-million donation from the CR17 (estimated by various political analysts to actually be closer to R500-million), specifically by so-called unknown capitalist outsiders towards his campaign, has for good reason made Ramaphosa an untrustworthy and unacceptable person to be the leader of the ANC for Magashule and his faction. It is clear that because Ramaphosa could count on the largesse of CR17, he has stolen the presidency from his opponents and enemies.47,50
On the two opposing ANC groups and their intentions to annihilate each other as quickly and as soon as possible, Labuschagne52 reflects52:6: “Die ANC se Achilleshiel is die duidelike verdelingslyn wat tussen die twee hoofgroepe bestaan.” About this Achillesheel of the ANC, Labuschagne writes52:6: “Die ANC bestaan in hoofsaak uit twee sterk magsentrums, met pres. Cyril Ramaphosa, wat die meer gematigde en rasionele groep verteenwoordig, en Ace Magashule, sekretaris-generaal van die ANC wat die radikale groep verteenwoordig.”
Makhanya53, on this ongoing post-2019 political split in the greater ANC — and the apparent intention by some of the factions’ members to continue the established pre-2019 irresponsible culture in the ANC, reports53:2:
Some of these people who refuse to recognise the depth of the malaise are at the top echelons of the governing party’s structures. Many of them will be sitting in the parliamentary benches after May 8 and will be determining policy and governance, as well as doing oversight on how the nation’s resources are managed.
It will be very difficult for the post-May 8 government to make a concerted effort to rid the country of this disease while the top structures of the governing party are not singing from the same sheet in so far as this issue is concerned and while some of the hard line state capture denialists serve as public representatives.
Specifically on the present-day immense in-fighting and multitude of intrigues produced in the greater ANC, especially at Luthuli house and in the various provincial houses governed by the ANC, the editor54 of Business Time already in February 2019 elaborated in-depth on the matter. On the ANC’s internal conflicts, he writes54:8: “The party is talking with two different voices, which adds to policy uncertainty, negatively affecting investment in the country’s ailing economy and making it more likely that we will eventually lose our one remaining investment-grade rating.”
Cele and Stone55 refer in June 2019 to this uncertainty that has taken root inside the ANC as55:2: “The ANC speaks with a forked tongue” referring to the many times in which conflicting rhetoric from Ramaphosa and Magashule were noted.
The conflict between the two groups seems to be exclusively driven by two exclusive primary intentions, inherent in each faction: 1) political power through obtaining the dominant leadership position; 2) to assure through this dominance the opportunity to score financial gain for their supporters and followers as they did in the past through the capture of the state and other semi-state enterprises. Land grabbing and other gains, as the pension funds and the Reserve Bank, have become new motivating factors in this struggle of leadership dominance.41-45,55
Eric Naki56 brought a new understanding to the internal conflict of the ANC, and the drive of the two opposing factions, when he writes that the South African courts and the seven commissions, of which the Zondo and Mpati are the most prominent, are the new battlefields between the ANC’s various opposing and hostile factions. The factions as well as their leaders are making use of all the means available to them to gain the upper hand. The political analyst Xolani Dube56 reflects that the ANC squabbles since 2019 are not new and have been an internal part of the ANC elite’s political opportunism to fight each other for the lucrative top leadership positions because it guarantees the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow nation. ANC squabbles had resulted in court battles as far back as 2005 when Jacob Zuma was accused of alleged criminal activities for financial gain (with his involvement in alleged bribes in the Arms Deal) and state capture was born of his favours to his intimate followers (or faction). What is obvious from Dube’s postulation, is that all the present commissions on state capture and corruption are exclusively about the many failures of the Zuma-regime to govern correctly due to the nepotist bent of a specific group in the Zuma sphere. (Dube notes pertinently that most of the major cases of alleged corruption at the moment under investigation directly involve Jacob Zuma as a major protagonist. It is the same Jacob Zuma who seems to be making a strong come back into the ANC’s politics via Ace Magashule and his cronies.56
Infighting in the ANC (which sometimes even includes traitorous plotting with the enemy) around the positioning of groups which associated them with so-called leadership personalities to steer their interests (a setup in which it is sometimes very difficult to determine if this group’s members are mesmerised by the leader’s personality and/or if the members only hang on for selfish and opportunistic reasons because of the leader’s ability to assure their enrichment), are well established. It is evidenced by the confession in July 2019 by the ANC senior member and former MP, Derek Hanekom, that he had called a meeting in 2017 with the EFF to oust the then president Jacob Zuma. (Madisa reports that Zuma resigned a day before Parliament was scheduled to vote on a motion of no confidence against him). It has to be noted that a group of ANC MPs had a specific agenda: to safeguard solely their political and other interests in the ANC against an opposing group of ANC MPs with the same and possible other interests. The forming of opposition groups to fight its own leaders inside the greater ANC is also evidenced by allegations that already before the 54th national meeting in December 2017 the so-called vague and unidentified “Ramaphosa group” decided not to accept a loss by the Magashule faction (and thus had intended to reject the leaderships of Mrs Zuma or Magashule should they be elected) and were determined to break away from the greater ANC if such an outcome were to follow.50,51,57
Although Hanekom denied such an intention by him or others inside the greater ANC in December 2017, Julius Malema, reports Madisa51, had in a recent speech in this context alleged 51:4:“… that Hanekom, during his meeting with Gardee [EFF’s secretary-general], said that he was planning a breakaway party should Cyril Ramaphosa not emerge as president at the ANC’s 54th national conference in Nasrec [in December 2017].”
Since December 2017, the separation of the two groups in terms of good and evil has been one of the prominent features of their depiction in the media. It seems as if the so-called Ramaphosa faction’s political “empowerment” was being attributed to and associated with Ramaphosa’s “goodness”. The Ramaphosa group were portrayed to be those persons living an honest life, who were not corrupt, did not steal, did not misuse their positions, etc. In short, it was a very subjective classification. Sokutu’s58 “pat on the back for Cyril” back in May 2019, is an example of such a misconception where solely goodness, honesty, excellent leadership, vision and being the saviour (of the so-called Ramaphosa faction) were exclusively associated with a so-called “impeccable” Ramaphosa as an extraordinary individual. He was being painted as someone far removed from the many misadventurous realities of the ANC and the country’s politics. This exclusive classing ignored the many negative allegations against Ramaphosa and his inner-circle, like the clouded CR17 election funding, his passive and not so innocent vice-presidency under the alleged corrupt President Jacob Zuma, as well as his active chairmanship of the ANC regime’s corrupt cadre-deployment scheme. Another fact which was not taken into account into this leadership appraisal by Sokutu58 was Ramaphosa’s alleged cooperation with the “evil” Jacob Zuma. Sokutu58 writes comprehensively in May on the future good intentions (and seemingly also only good qualities) of Ramaphosa as the good ANC leader (without reflecting on the presence of a Ramaphosa faction that is also good). This praise is based mostly on Ramaphosa’s 2019 election promises (ignoring the hard realities waiting for Ramaphosa after May 2019). Quoting Ramaphosa, Sokuto58 reflects on his words as follows58:12: “In this phase we’re going to renew the ANC and cleanse it of all bad tendencies –making the organisation to be the leader of society. The ANC must be an organisation of disciplined comrades. Our leaders must always speak with one voice, show unity and not hang our dirty linen in public”.
22.214.171.124. Post-2017 ANC leadership-infights
Many of the above literature reflects on the other side an immense leadership struggle within the ANC, in which personal ambitions and interests of two specific leaders are the central theme. Extreme opportunism is present in both the thinking of the leaders, their planning and activities. The interests of the groups supporting the two leaders are of secondary importance for the two leaders. This does not conform to the traditional notion of large groups fighting each other to advance their particular political ideologies and the executing of certain policies. The focus on “clans” in the ANC have become more and more vague and confusing since August. The general postulation that the so-called factionalism inside the ANC is purely based only on differences around its traditional ideology, seem to be a contradiction. The leadership issue — in which the exaggerated status of a quasi-leader stands central — seems to be the evil of the present internal strife in the ANC where parasitic supporters have joined in. Such kind of conflicts emerge when a party starts on the slippery slope of decline and it lacks able leaders to participate in actual politics. It is mostly not an exclusive ideological issue. To be able to see the difference between the so-called post-Soviet world-views of Cyril Ramaphosa (including Tito and Pravin) with the so-called pre-Soviet world-views of the Ace Magashule (including Jacob Zuma and David Mabuza), is a foolish endeavour and a misplaced conception. Their actions and their speeches as leaders differ, but their ideology belongs to a classic Marxist-Leninist view, saturated with mischief and state capture. Both are hard-core Marxist-Leninist socialists who have been abetting land grab without compensation, the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and the seizure of public and private pension funds. Both Ramaphosa and Magashule are die-hard ANC revolutionaries who intend to promote RET.26,30,31,59-64
Sokuto’s58 own praise of the “good” leader Cyril Ramaphosa as a “collector” of only good ANCs in his particular faction, reveals how the emerging figure of an outstanding leader who draws followers around his character and abilities as follows58:12:
But, in a show of unity, Ramaphosa extended an olive branch to all. I can only think of Nelson Mandela who would do that.
Upon taking over the reins, Ramaphosa has shown true leadership in all respects.
He has embraced all, including those that wished he would not ascend to power within the ANC and the country.
Given Ramaphosa’s corrupt-free background, stature, values and vision – a stark contrast to Zuma – it came as no surprise that when he was voted party president, the country rallied behind him./ 58Sokutu B. Pat on the back for Cyril. The Citizen (opinion). 2019 May 16; p. 12/
On the role of the good, the bad and ugly in the ANC politics, Magashule stands out as the bad (and often also the ugly) guy in the ANC elite and in ANC politics who is seemingly focused on rounding up all the bad ANC cadres into his faction. Bad represents the continuation of the Zuma faction which is alleged to be adept only at corruption, theft, etc. In this classing of the bad ones, most of the media describe Ace Magashule in absolute antipathetic terms, his profile as a person, as an ANC member and as a leader. In this context, the editor65 of The Citizen, on the 22 August 2019, reports on the so-called latest South African Citizens Survey that Ace Magashule (the alleged leader of the Zuma-faction’s “fightback” against Ramaphosa) is disliked by nine out of ten South Africans (rating 11% in July against a 16% in June), while Ramaphosa is still flying high in the people’s eyes (62% in 2019 against 64% in 2018). The editor66 of the Sunday Times writes more or less in the same key66:18: “It’s not a cardinal secret that the man is despised by some within his own party and there are even rumours of a possible attempt to unseat him in the national general council next year (2020).”
Bulger67 in an article in the Sunday Times, dated 16 June 2019, writes67:19: “Is Ace the reincarnation of Dr No?” and then, in making his comparison, refers to Dr Andries Treurnicht in the following terms: “In or out of office, Treurnicht was a danger to society, a loose cannon and a liability.”
Mthombothi46, on the so-called flagitious activities of Magashule, wonders:10: “…has Magashule become the ANC’s Mr Untouchable? The Samson who, if tangled with, will bring the whole house down?”
Tony Leon68 also reflects mischievously on Magashule’s so-called poor leadership status in the ANC and South Africa. His postulation68:18: “Magashule was elected to his post by fever than 5,000 South Africans. Ramaphosa enjoys a mandate from 10-million citizens”, is extremely misleading and false.
The same falsity, boosting Ramaphosa and belittling Magashule, is reflected by the writing of the editor69 of the Sunday Times, stating that the country gave Ramaphosa a 57%-majority mandate.
[In short: both Ramaphosa and Magashule were both autocratically elected by fever than 4 000 ANC-delegates/representatives of the various ANC-branches at the 2017 Nasrec National Conference. Ramaphosa won with 179 votes (±2 900 votes for Ramaphosa and 1 910 votes for his opponent), reflecting only 5% support for Ramaphosa at Nasrec and indirectly by the greater ANC. When the votes of the ±1-million registered ANC-members’ who the 4 000 delegates had represented, are taken into consideration, his support inside the ANC as its leader/president was less than 0.02%. Inside and outside the ANC he cannot be called a “strong “leader and especially not because he became so in an autocratic way, supported by our faulty electoral legislation, the presidents of the ANC and the South African State. Only ±10-million voters voted ANC from the ± 19-million participating voters (less than 50% of the voters who participated in the May 2019 elections). Noting also that ± 19-million eligible voters did not vote or did not register as voters, meaning that only 28% voted “by means of their ANC vote” indirectly for Ramaphosa and the ANC and not 57% as alleged. There exists no evidence that Magashule’s status is poorer than that of Ramaphosa or that Ramaphosa enjoys a stronger mandate as Magashule].70
In fact, in analysing this peculiarity, one reason for this “contaminated” profiling of Magashule seems to be because he is a stronger leader than Cyril Ramaphosa and because he “canned” Ramaphosa’s glorified empowerment and political arrogance, having pushed him into a subordinate position in the greater ANC elite since December 2017. Mthombothi’s48 reflection on this alleged power grab by Magashule of Ramaphosa’s presidency and the so-called “bad” leader Magashule, tells us an in-depth story of how much subjectivity is playing a role in the ANC’s two factions and the falsities around leaders as being either good or bad. Mthombothi writes48:19: “…the ANC…is led by a mafia-like character in Ace Magashule. Magashule is now in full command. Ramaphosa seems to have ceded even the ground he gained at Nasrec. Magashule’s choice on the [candidate] list his way of encircling the wagons. ANC doesn’t have a few rotten apples. It is rotten. The whole bag.”
Thankfully the editor65 of The Citizen warns us that the reports circulating on social media are more often than not a collection of toxic cesspit stories and that one should be reading too much into the attacks on political figures such as Magashule. It serves only the ulterior motives and subjectivity of certain persons.
But on the other hand Mthombothi71 is clear on Magashule’s strong power base in the greater ANC71:19: “He’s king of all the surveys. He’s moulding the party – which policies and cadences to emphases – in his own image. It is putty in his hands . Zuma may have handed the baton reluctantly to Ramaphosa, but the party of Zuma is not likely to be the party of Ramaphosa. It seems destinated to be the party of Magashule . He has all the time in the world to achieve that”.
If one ignores the subjectivity and the ever-present adherence to Marxist-Leninist socialism that Ace Magashule unashamedly underwrites, it is clear for many political analysts and commentators that Magashule is one of the best leaders in the ANC elite, if not on top. His strongly empowered role in present ANC politics was also well-illustrated by his recent briefing of journalists on the outcomes of the recent ANC-NEC meeting where the NEC gave Tito Mboweni approval to reform the troubled SOEs: he spoke to the media together with Enoch Godongwana and Tito Mboweni, while Ramaphosa was absent. This absence clearly showed that Ramaphosa does not have him on a leash on the ANC’s strategy politics as is often falsely projected by the media26,30,31,63,64,72
About Sokuto’s58 base for his praise of the “goodness” of Ramaphosa, is it firstly important to note that Ramaphosa in May misled the public about unity which is supposed to already exist or to come to the ANC soon. His requirement of ANC leaders to ”speak with one voice” is contradicted by his own constant double-speak on the ANC’s affairs. Secondly, Ramaphosa has failed in cleaning house as far as the ANC’s inner circle of tainted leaders are concerned by his seemingly “willing” appointment of “not-so-clean leaders of the Zuma-cabinets” into his own cabinet. (Sokutu,58 notwithstanding his immense praise for Ramaphosa, acknowledged this failure himself). Thirdly, both the post-May 2019 ANC party and the ANC regime were not cleansed of all their bad tendencies as publicly promised by Ramaphosa. This interlacing of the so-called good with the bad, and the so-called Magashule people with the so-called Ramaphosa people in the greater ANC’s Parliament, the Ramaphosa cabinet and other executive ANC positions, suddenly forces the question to the foreground: is there really something like a Ramaphosa faction and a Magashule faction in the greater ANC? Is the present division not possibly a temporary outcome because of the problematic presence of Ramaphosa and Magashule in the greater ANC. If both are ousted from the ANC as members with immediate effect, will the so-called “group-forming” as well as all the troubles and conflicts inside the greater ANC stop?58
The broad assumption by many political journalists, analysts and commentators of the real possibility of a particular Ramaphosa faction existing, Munusamy47 expresses her scepticism. She questions the public’s understanding of the reality of the “spook” of the Ramaphosa-faction in the present political sphere. Munusamy writes47:11 “Who or what is the ‘Cyril Ramaphosa faction? Many people refer colloquially to ‘Cyril’s faction’ without knowing who exactly they are talking about”.
About the who and what from this Ramaphosa faction how it should be viewed in the reality of South African politics, Munusamy47 clearly states as follows47:11:
- With significant constituencies in the ANC-tripartite-alliance forming a circle of empowerment around Ramaphosa;
- Part of a power bloc in the ANC-NEC who dominate discussions and have formidable influence in the various Provinces;
- Who at all times should be Ramaphosa’ eyes and ears on the ground, together to be his wall of defence within and outside the ANC.
In this faction, writes Munusamy47, Ramaphosa himself should be the dominant force, with his supporters prevailing from branch to national level. But, on the contrary, for Ramaphosa, as far as a real Ramaphosa-faction is concerned, there is little proof of such a faction. This is an outcome that Munusamy confirms47:11: “The reality, however, is that no such power bloc exists. It is difficult to identify the president’s surrogates – other than those who backed his campaign for the presidency in 2017.”
Munusamy47 points out that even those supporting Ramaphosa for the 2017 election, cannot explain the present-day person and leader Ramaphosa, his political planning and vision or who are his planners, intimates and informers are. Secondly, is it further clear that in this lack of identifying his faction or grouping, that Ramaphosa does not appear to have a solid base nor a certain circle of political heavy-weights and surrogates in the greater ANC who represent him in structures across the country. In many cases those prominent followers inside the ANC who cheer for Ramaphosa, seem to never get ahead of their naked opportunism to gain more from their association with him as from another group This has been the prime motivator for his so-called supporters and not so much his unique leadership qualities. Institutions such as Cosatu were previously a traditional constituency for Ramaphosa, but it seems not to stand fully behind him or to be shielding him from attacks today. Neither are his close ministers Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan showing any tangible backing from the greater ANC to strengthen his leadership, as Munusamy47 rightly pinpointed47:11: “There is no visible support for Mboweni’s mission in stop wanton spending by government or Gordhan’s clean-up of state-owned enterprises”. Also is he basically alone in his fight against the Public Protector. This, states Munusamy47, reflects the weaknesses of the so-called Ramaphosa-faction and47:11: “… the failure to join the dots between the onslaught on his key ministers and the coming attack on him”.
The above outcome spells problems for Ramaphosa inside the greater ANC. Magashule plays his cards as a master would, without him being perceived as the aggressor, but instead to be the subordinate servant of the ANC and the people of South Africa. In promoting effective leadership, Magashule and his clan are far more adept at the ANC politics than Ramaphosa and his group. The Magashule faction knows well how to play its cards correctly and wisely inside the greater ANC’s structure. This is being done constantly by Magashule through his emphasis of the ANC’s unchangeable democratic centralist ideology and Marxist-Leninist socialism, while at the same time preaching about the existence of “good unity” inside the greater ANC as well as the existence of an intimate leadership relation between him and Ramaphosa. This masterly move in the present ANC’s political landscape on all levels by Magashule – from local to national levels, which include also the ANC cadres in Parliament (which the editor73 of The Citizen described as “Ace’s blazing guns”) – was well-reflected in June 2019 with Magashule’s presence in the Parliament and his clear grip on the ANC’s future politics.
Cele and Stone74 on the 23rd June 2019 report on Magashule’s emphasis on the “collectiveness” of the greater ANC (bringing into picture again the Marxist framework that is driving it and which describes and control the position of Ramaphosa by the ANC’s politburo) when Magashule said74:1-2: “As the officials, we are very happy that we have been working very consistently. We just read in the media that the [secretary-general] is going this way and the president is going that way. It is not true. I don’t know when are you going to accept it; even when you hear it from the horse’s mouth, you still believe there is something else happening. There is no way the officials of the ANC would ever not work as a collective because that is our understanding of how this liberation movement works. We operate as a collective.”
The crafty counter-answer of Magashule recently in public, when he was tackled on the so-called Magashule-Ramaphosa infighting, responding that that there is no fightback by him or his clan against the activities of Ramaphosa nor that he is specifically objecting because Ramaphosa is failing so far to implement the 2017 Nasrec resolutions. He side-stepped criticism of Ramaphosa’s politics tactfully (a serious issue that he surely is going to address at the 2020 NGC with a killer’s focus and instinct) by saying there must be patience because Ramaphosa is operating inside a timeframe (without, of course, giving Ramaphosa the right to deviate intentionally from the resolutions) to execute the 2017 Nasrec resolutions62:12: “You don’t implement resolutions of conference in a year and a half. Material conditions define implementation of some of these resolutions. You don’t just blindly go and [implement]”.
On the other hand, he is succinct in his counter-answer on the untouchable Marxist-Leninist ideology and democratic centralism of the ANC, as woven into the empowerment of the National Conference to issue resolutions as final and binding “politics orders. Included, too is his confirmation of the empowerment of the politburo of the ANC (NEC and Top Six), which is not only steered by him as secretary-general but also by Ramaphosa acting as president of the ANC as well as the state president. No one dares to deviate from the resolutions or change the resolutions, as Magashule62 clearly pinpointed62:12: “…this did not mean that Nasrec resolutions would not be implemented”, and62:12: “…there was commitments from ANC leaders, including Ramaphosa , that all Nasrec decisions would become reality, including the nationalising of the [Reserve] Bank”.
In the above context that all the resolutions taken by the National Conferences must be fully underwritten and executed by its leaders (surely with the focus on Ramaphosa), Magashule62 guides his audience clearly62:12:
The president said that resolution is a resolution of conference. It must be implemented. But as students of Lenin and Marx…that’s our orientation. Material conditions dictate the tempo and pace of our struggle moving forward.
It’s not only when it comes to the Reserve Bank, it’s all matters affecting issues of the economy, issues of balance of forces internationally and domestically. Once you understand all those things, you then have to know that you’re a real leader of the ANC.
The reality of the politics that Jacob Zuma as well as Cyril Ramaphosa have underwritten and practiced since 1994 and are still pursuing in 2019, are well described by Gumede75. He writes75:20: “The mindsets of many ANC leaders are stuck in the Cold War period when the world was divided into a Marxist-Leninist ideological camp led by the Soviet Union, and a Western liberal group led by the US”, and75:20: “Many ANC leaders behave like high school or student politicians, with no sense of accountability, rather than grown-up politicians whose decisions daily determine whether people live or die, whether people go to bed hungry or not, and whether people lose or secure a job”.
To cast revolutionary and traditional ANC-leaders such as Ace Magashule, David Mabuza or Jacob Zuma in a Western democratic-capitalist political framework, or to underscore that the ANC’s traditional leaders from 1994 could change to such a system in 2019, is foolish. Gumede75 shows this misapprehension well when he postulates the following ANC faults that need to be changed in 201975:20: “Many influential ANC party bosses have not acknowledged the party is losing its market, that it has the wrong leadership and that its organisational culture is deformed”, and75:20: “The ANC’s language, customs and behaviour must become more resonant with those of it “customers”, the people of SA. Empty slogans such as a “National Democratic Revolution” are yesteryear’s”.
Magashule is presently steering of the ANC directly into implementing RET; his constant cat-and-mouse game with the insecure Ramaphosa is a sign that the revolutionary ANC leader Magashule is busy preparing for a deadly attack on the leadership of Ramaphosa. [In this context the approaching 2020 midterm national general council meeting (NGC) can be seen at best as a trying time for Ramaphosa. Magashule’s long awaited chance, which for the first time after Ramaphosa became the “double-president”, could finally materialise, can either become a reality because of his supporters or whether his “faction” (if there is such an contingent) can safe-guard him from an eventual ousting. The 2020 NGC is going to be the foremost test for his leadership of the greater ANC. The NGC is going to be the first “legitimate place and time for the dissatisfied ANC cadres to reverse the Nasrec 2017 election’s so-called “scewed” results, via the anti-Ramaphosa group’s right to evaluate how successful or not his performances were, and thus if he correctly and precisely implemented the 2017 Nasrec-resolutions. It is important to note that at the 2020 NGC, facing the so-called phantom faction supporting Ramaphosa, there will a very real Magashule-Zuma faction to take-on Ramaphosa.47
The present prodding by Magashule of Ramaphosa’s qualities and weaknesses as leader of the greater ANC in terms of the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist model and the ANC’s democratic-centralism is obvious. Failed outcomes of the 2017 resolutions so far by Ramaphosa, include his hesitation to implement a practicable land expropriation without compensation policy, the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, and a willingness to divert the R6-trillion private and public pension assets to the state’s coffer to rescue the ANC regime from its failed economics. There are also many other activities in which by Ramaphosa as leader has been involved in which are seemingly in conflict with the ANC’s political character, like the funding of his 2017 election via his CR17 connections, where the names of various prominent exclusive white capitalists have sprung up, alleged to be persons such as Nicky Opperheimer and the likes. This cosy relationship with capitalists that Ramaphosa — as an assumed communist leader — have cultivated, are all grist to the mills of ANC radicals searching for a reason to support a vote of no confidence. The ANC’s radicals allege that it is not the real intention of Ramaphosa as its leader to unite the ANC around the principles of its Freedom Charter, but an orchestrated “renewal” by him in which the ANC will erase its Marxist-Leninist underpinnings and advance post-1994, his own and other interests dear to capitalists. Ramaphosa is painted as an obstructive leader, with seemingly a small group of followers inside the greater ANC. Indeed, some analysts believe the ousting of Ramaphosa will not activate the fall of the ANC: on the contrary, it could bring about the rebirth of a cleansed, improved ANC.76,77
Any apparent failing — or unwillingness — by Ramaphosa to abide by the 2017 resolutions and instead turn to “capitalist-orientated” policies in his presidency, can expect a backlash in return. Political unrest, anarchy, but especially revolution in 2019 to 2020, can be seen as the ideal opportunity for the Magashule faction (together with the Mabuza and Zuma factions) to interfere and intervene and thus to take over the running daily administration under the pretext of restoring political order and the ANC’s policy of democratic consensus or centralism.54,78-80
For Magashule is there only place in the ANC for radical, revolutionary politicians; not for smart capitalists dressed as communists. In this context Rooi76 writes76:2: “Magashule het gesê die ANC sal nooit verander nie. Diegene wat die party verlaat het, moet terugkeer. ‘Die heilige Gees moet hulle teruglei’.” On Julius Malema’s specific role in Magashule’s radical political lifestyle foreseen by him for the post-May 2019 ANC, Rooi76 reports76:2: “Julius Malema, EFF-leier, is bestempel as ‘ons jong man, ons eie produk’.” Also, the extent to which the political radicals are gathering around Magashule as his inveterate followers and supportive “soldiers” in his struggle to “own” the post-May 2019 greater ANC, is well reflected by the support and sanctioning in April 2019 of Makalo Mohale, chair of the ANC Youth League, to further Magashule’s radical political aims and economic policies.76
From a critical analysis of Ramaphosa’s performance as the present double-president, it is evident that he has clearly not been fulfilling the ANC’s politburo’s prescriptions. This can be read in the guidelines and in the hidden, but continuous warnings being issued by the secretary-general of the ANC. The present uncontrolled infighting around the ANC’s leadership’s positions, wherein the political ideology of the greater ANC also starts to play a prominent role, is focused more and more on disabling the activities of the Ramaphosa leadership in the greater ANC. It seems as if Cyril Ramaphosa has unofficially already been placed on probation by the ANC’s politburo, making his survival dependent on his fierce, ongoing counter-attack of Ace Magashule because if he fails to do so, it will be basically impossible not to be ousted in the near future.
Magashule’s aversion and dislike for Ramaphosa may be well masked, but it is there. Rooi76, brought some light for instance on Magashule’s manoeuvres in and around the present ANC leadership of Ramaphosa and the intention to scapegoat him as a failed ANC executive leader and setting him up for punitive actions in 2020. The focus of Magashule is here on the alleged involvement of certain ANC top brass in spying on him and indirectly pinpointing the culprits to be tried later. Rooi76 quoted Magashule as follows76:2: “Ek weet nie wie daaragter sit nie. Ek waarsku net mense om nie staatsorgane te gebruik vir hul politieke tweestryde nie.”
For Magashule Ramaphosa is undoubtedly not part of the circle of “legitimate” leaders of the ANC elite when he speaks to exuberant young comrades in Pretoria in the middle of October 2019. Mthombothi71 reflects his opinion71:19: “I’ve served former president Mandela’s administration, former president Thabo Mbeki’s administration, former president Jacob Zuma’s administration, and now under Ramaphosa”. Putting into perspective Magashule’s speech, Mthombothi71 furthermore posits71:19:
The thing that immediately jumped at me was the fact that he assigned proper honorifics to all the leaders except Ramaphosa. He was just Ramaphosa, not the president. It’s a little detail but its not the first time he’s done it. He hasn’t come to terms with the fact that Ramaphosa is the president and he doesn’t make any bones about it, nor does he seem to care.
Some seem to interpret his comments to mean the penny has finally dropped. He [Ramaphosa] now has to toe the line.
Magashule42 reflects obviously does not only have the division between the greater ANC and the Ramaphosa in mind, but also Ramaphosa’s seemingly doubtful and unwelcome leadership position in the post-2019 ANC political camps and groupings when he surreptitiously notes42:1: “Leiers sal kom en gaan. Diegene wat baklei, sal in in een of ander stadium die organisasie moet verlaat as hul nie kan berus by die beginsels en die tradisies en kultuur van die ANC nie. Swak gedissiplineerde leiers moet liewer die ANC verlaat.”
For Magashule is it Ramaphosa who has betrayed the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist ideology, the Freedom Charter and the individual who wants to make the ANC an exclusive capitalist party. Mtombothi71 reflects on this apparent conflict in a succinct way as71:19: “…a fierce contestation about the ideological direction of the party”.
For a weathered socialist communist Ramaphosa’s defects and his alleged anti-communism, constitute high treason par excellence. And there is a price to pay. What is clear at this stage is that the table has been set for serious conflict politics in 2020 inside the greater ANC: the first clear step was, as said, already taken in April 2019 to isolate Ramaphosa in order to scapegoat him as a renegade and unwelcome leader in the ANC.71,76
There is no doubt that the leadership of the ANC is slowly, but patiently, being taken over by Magashule. This is seen in the hidden, strong hand of Magashule in the statement in June 2019 on the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank as well as other conflicting statements via the ANC’s NEC, harassing and testing Ramaphosa intentionally. Moreover, there is the growing alliance between Magashule and the ANC’s two alliance partners, Cosatu and the SACP. Their significant shift to the left on economic policy, is well-aligned with the economic ideology of Magashule. For Cosatu and the SACP the Ramaphosa-regime lack the ability to fix the country as far as the interests and demands of the working class is concerned. Magashule’s empowerment is growing every day, notwithstanding the Ramaphosa’s camp desperate “leaks” to the media of how he is “constantly reigning in and is reprimanding Ace Magashule”. There are also leaks to the anti-Magashule press, allegedly by the ANC’s integrity committee, that Ace Magashule’s office is going to be chided in the future. Other allegations are that Magashule was involved in the forming of Mzwanele Manyi’s African Transformation Movement (ATM). These allegations were however quickly revealed to be baseless.73,82-98
The depressing reality may be that not only is the so-called Ramaphosa faction an illusion, but that his exclusive and extraordinary power and status as the leader of the greater ANC, could equally be a wishful fantasy.
Formidable odds will be facing Ramaphosa in future in his precarious hold on the presidency. The view of him is one of a renegade leader in the greater ANC without a support and back-up structure at the moment. Marrian87 reflects87:3:
The constant threat of his removal by the ANC’s national general council has been muttered since Ramaphosa’s election at Nasrec. This is the one body in the party that could feasibly remove him between elective conferences.
The general council threat coincides neatly with law enforcement agencies closing in on Zuma’s allies, and those implicated in state capture and corruption.
Then there is the constant push-back from the ANC secretary general Ace Magashule against Ramaphosa’s reform agenda.
The result of this tug-of-war has forced Ramaphosa to compromise at every turn.
Another frontier Ramaphosa is having to navigate is the onslaught by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, as she pushes ahead with her investigation into claims by the democratic Alliance that he lied to Parliament about a donation from the disgraced services company Bosasa.
Ramaphosa as a leader is, contrary to what many political commentators believe, not talented and empowered enough to move, break-up or to change the ANC even an inch. For him it would be impossible to implode the ANC as FW de Klerk had managed with the National Party. Even if Ramaphosa had been empowered, it seems that no one in the ANC elite will jump freely over the cliff with him. Mthombothi88 over-estimates Ramaphosa’s role in the ANC’s and South Africa’s politics when he writes88:10: “De Klerk destroyed his party to save the country. It’s now Ramaphosa’s turn. Will he instead run the risk of destroying the country in a vain attempt to preserve a party that is only tenuously glued together by the perks of power?”
Undoubtedly, the future of Ramaphosa as state-president and as leader (president) of the ANC at present remain in the hands of the ANC’s politburo. He knows it very well, as was reflected by him allowing to be permanently pinned down by the ANC-politburo. He is being led by them to always act within the ANC’s constitution if he does not want to forfeit his presidency of South Africa. On the consequences awaiting him if he disobeys, Saunderson-Meyer89 warns89:12: “It takes a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly to remove a public protector. It takes a simple majority of an ANC congress to recall a president”.
As in all leadership struggles, it is important to note that there are two sides involved in the fighting. It needs to be reflected upon in due course. Although in most fables there is the bad dragon to be killed and the good knight to do it for the community, the ANC fable on state capture and the present ANC infighting suggest that their fable might end differently. The ANC fable seemingly lacks a good knight, leaving two bad dragons to fight it out untill one dies and the other bad dragon reigns on in the already prevailing chaos. Notwithstanding the notion that Ramaphosa’s presidency is busy failing as a good knight, the Magashule faction will not step up as the good but rather the bad dragons, clothed however as good knights.83-109
Many political commentators allege that it has been the primary intention of Ace Magashule as leader of the Magashule-Zuma faction — to keep intact the Zuma network of state capture and mismanagement — in order to revive the full power of the greater Magashule-Zuma faction as soon as possible. The political views on the future of the ANC to function as a good agent and to be a party of integrity in terms of a “Westminster- style democracy,” are not up-beat. Magashule has no intention to delve too deeply into his own and the top brass of the ANC’s past political transgressions. The party’s present-day lack of good guiding principles, traditions and the culture associated with a party and regime of integrity in terms of what their post-1994 rule has brought forth – will simply be perpetuated going forward, many pundits believe. The already entrenched mindset in the ANC in pursuing corrupt practices, traditions and a culture of impunity visible also in the Magashule faction with their intention to continue in their flagitious ways, has been confirmed beyond all doubt by Magashule’s declaration in public in April 2019 at Parys, in the Free State, that the ANC will never change. With Magashule in power, it is alluded by political commentators, that the ANC will once again serve as an example of Marxist-Leninist governance, bringing about financial and social chaos in its wake. For the first time Stalin’s autocratic politics may be fully implemented in South Africa.42,54,68,76,78-80,87-95, 110-118
In conclusion: It does not matter which faction of the ANC rules the country, since the party’s dedicated political opportunists will stay on. The ANC’s opportunistic elite knows very well how to use the dying ANC’s many fault-lines to their own ends in order to enrich and advance their own interests. From Ramaphosa, to Magashule, Mabuza and Zuma will be using the greater ANC for their own selfish interests, notwithstanding that they belong to different factions: they need to uphold a partitioned ANC to guarantee gains.17-20,90-99, 101-114, 118-126
The only solution is to immediately oust the ANC-regime and its elite from the political scene. There are still good people left in South Africa’s political sphere and greater society. On this Majoko93 notes93:12:
It’s always best to remember that however fluid and incomprehensible the situation looks, there is a side that seeks to do good for the country and one that has done bad for the country.
Political expediency is bad for the overall health of the republic. No matter how badly one wants to deal with a festering wound, amputation the whole appendage because it’s quicker only creates a bigger long-term problem.
It is not going to be easy to rid the country from the misadventurous politician clique and to attract good knights to rush onto the political stage in our politics as Munusamy94 postulates94:20:
Many people lined up by the main political parties to be our public representatives are an insult to our nation. They would not even be able to run a cake sale without eating the cake themselves- or peddling the backing process to their patronage networks.
The Zondo commission has made me realise how farcical the political system is when corrupt business people are able to control the state by simply buying off politicians and key officials.
The reason there are so many hopeless people vying to be our public representatives is because the political system is closed off to credible, capable leaders who have the potential to modernise and re-imagining our future.
We have to revert to the goals of the Freedom Charter, written in 1955, because nobody can think of fresh solutions to society’s current problems.
SA has many great minds who opt to remain on the sidelines or choose to look after their own financial wellbeing rather than the good of society. So it is difficult to invest in a system that is never going to attract or shape good leaders.
126.96.36.199. The dying ANC
188.8.131.52.1. Twenty-thousand crooks in the ANC’s heart
The slow exit of the ANC from the future South African broad political scene was initiated by the misadventures, faulty planning and the inability of its top brass over 25 years to rule. These immense shortcomings must not and can not be seen as part of the traditional attitude of the majority, the vision of how the country should be run according to most South Africans. Not everyone in South Africa is a crook, or without vision and no sense of responsibility, lacks accountability and no moral conscience. Neither is the political aspirations of most South Africans cemented into the revolutionary politics of the ANC’s top brass.127-154
The small circle of corrupt individuals running the ANC, their elite and their cronies, has been estimated by Magda Wierzycka155 to be more or less as 20 000 persons. Out of the South African population of 57 million of mostly law-abiding citizens, they are a negligible few. But it must be noted that the innate behaviour of these 20 000 questionable individuals that have successfully infiltrated and occupied all the important centres of power in terms of the political, judicial and financial spheres of the country, have given them the means to operate as though they number far more than 20 million people. It is unbelievable that so few corrupt cadres in the ANC system have, through focused patronage, deeply contaminated the quality of life of the 57 million South Africans in just 25 years. This contamination was so thorough that the moral mindset of a significant part of the greater political society is seemingly at the moment beyond immediate repair. Even their basic notions seems to have been perverted by the political patronage of the ANC elite’s corruption, making it impossible for them to even operate outside the ANC milieu of nefarious politics.78,127- 155
This enslavement has turned voters into mere minions of the ANC at the ballot box, as witnessed in election after election. This mesmerising of the greatest part of the ANC voter body and their supporters, namely the masses of poor blacks (±30-million), was planned by the ANC elite after 1994 to keep this poor constituency in a dependent state by means of their poverty. At the same time the ANC regime keeps feeding them thanks to a precariously low level of state support (old age pensions, child allowances, free education on secondary and tertiary levels, school feeding schemes, appointments to the civil services, RDP-houses, etc.), just enough to keep them dependent of the ANC regime’s rule while at the same time ensuring that they undoubtedly keep living below the bread line.78,155,156
The ruling ANC is currently steering South Africa by means of the ANC’s politburo and their effective use of their Marxist-Leninist socialism to exploit the masses and they use their corrupt cadre deployment schemes (in which Cyril Ramaphosa played a prominent role until his election as President of the country in December 2017) to enrich the ANC elite’s cronies. The origin of the “curriculum” which made it possible for more or less 20 000 miscreants to capture the state after 1994 and still maintain their hold on it, becomes clear: their mentors in China, North-Korea, Russia and Cuba helped them to attain this.
184.108.40.206.2. Viability and sustainability of a political party
The instability present within the present-day ANC, together with its elite’s propensity for being involved all sorts of nefarious political activities after 1994 and up to 2019 and their disrespect for the old ANC’s values and certain principles contained in the Freedom Charter, confirm that the ANC is incapable of running the post-2019 government and managing land expropriation without corruption. The ANC’s politics have been in a state of bankruptcy, the party’s poor leadership’s qualities, integrity and status, its lack of vision and awareness of its failings, are put in focus especially on the misuse of the land ownership issue by Tabane157 when he said157:18: “…what the ANC has done on the land question must rank as the most desperate move to cling to power – just change policy to sound like the opposition until you are faced with the challenge of implementing it”.
In addition to Tabane’s157 doubt over the viability and sustainability of the ANC as a party and reflecting on its many tricks to hang on to power, there is also the test in terms of the ability of a political party as a regime to deliver on the promises of its political manifesto after every election. Did the ANC succeed in making good on its promises, turning them into concrete outcomes or not? Over 25 years the ANC’s kept promises were either mostly thin on substance and consistency or tenuous at best. Mostly, they were fanciful.157,158
In this context Kgosana158 underscored this salient fact when he says the manifest failures of the ANC’s programme, going as far back as 1994, are in evidence all around us158:17: “The same bright, shiny, shameless promises are repeated each election, never to be actually met.”
An editorial54 of the Business Day of 26 February 2019 with the title: Gloves off in ANC turmoil, reflects on the terminal illness of the ANC, resulting in it being incapable of ruling South Africa for another 25 years. It states its manifold failures to realise its election promises, making the need for immediate political euthanasia to spare it further pain and suffering in its present decaying state, even more urgent. In this context the editor postulates54:8:
The biggest threat to the ANC in the run-up to the general election may well be itself. It has been more than a year since President Cyril Ramaphosa took over the reins of the party and the country. While the ANC continues to talk about renewal and unity, it seems that the opposite is true.
Now it is time for Ramaphosa, as head of the party, to be more decisive and let go on the illusion that the party has become more united since Nasrec. It is becoming clearer that Ramaphosa has to step up the clean-up project in the ANC and remove those who were part of the project to loot the country.
Perhaps the best thing for the ANC would be another split. That may see it shed those who are not interested in fixing the party and the country so that real renewal can start.
Regarding the above reference of a “renewal” the editor of the Business Day has a somewhat naive take on it: Firstly, the remnants in the SSA of spooks loyal to Jacob Zuma as well as in society will not allow any real renewal, one that does not allow for corruption in the ANC in post-2019 politics. An intensified effort to improve the ANC by Ramaphosa, if he really means it, would not only cost him his executive political leadership, the expropriation of his own land, assets and richness, but probably his life. Many of the spooks in KwaZulu-Natal have settled in the past their grudges by means of assassinations.
Secondly, the split of the ANC into two broad factions already is so comprehensive and developed that the Purified ANC (Zumas) and the Reformed ANC (Ramaphosas), which have emerged from the 8th May 2019 election, have crippled the greater ANC permanently. It leaves the ANC thus with two internal parties in conflict, garnering a parliamentary voter count of more or less 29% each. For future politics in the country it seems already at this stage that one of the two opposing parts or the greater ANC as a whole, will have to pair respectively with the EFF or the DA in the hope to be in power until 2024. This indicates the extent to which the ANC has lost most of its identity. The ANC is thus no longer viable or sustainable.54,156,159
The senior journalist and seasoned political analyst and commentator, Barney Mthombothi156, reminds us of the ANC members (thankfully they are less than 1-million out of a possible 37 million eligible voters and a population of 57 million) and the ANC top brass’ approacing political “death”, when he writes156:19:
Our leaders are in a bind. People don’t listen to them anymore, let alone respect the law.
Someone suggested some time ago – it may have been this column for all I know – that we’ve been through a hell of a lot; we are a damaged people and therefore need a shrink. Such an exercise is not only impossible, it’s a cop-out. Bad behaviour or a culture of impunity is changed or reversed by a strict application of consequences.
220.127.116.11.3. The maximum duration of a political regime in South Africa
The reflections so far in these articles of the project pointed out the ANC is incapable of keeping Zuma or his cronies like Thulani Dhlomo, Ace Magashule, David Mabuza, David Mahlobo, Dudu Myeni and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma out of the post-2019 executive leadership positions of the country. But to finger these Zuma cronies alone would be wrong: the same can be said about Ramaphosa and his cronies being incapable rulers.126
South Africa’s internal politics from 1652 to 2019, in which conflict has played a central role, confirms how the maximum versus minimum duration of regimes are expected to play out. Evidence shows that in South Africa for the period from 1910 to 1994, political parties, specifically certain regimes, have had an average shelf-life of 24 years. This indicates that, although the ANC presents itself at present as the eternal dynamic and empowered master of South Africa — as Jacob Zuma once said with confidence “till Jesus comes” and Ace Magashule spoke seemingly of an untouchable “anointed ANC” — there are signs there that it is in its last throes after 25 years before being closed down. The ANC top brass’ immense self-doubt about the ANC’s future successes, integrity, trustworthiness and honesty, has been well hidden behind a facade of arrogance and grandeur, shoddy planning and ill-conceived policies.126
The so-called ANC reform, New Dawn and Thuma Mina since the ousting of Zuma, is insignificant and spells out the arrival of more dangerous ANC misadventures to be committed in the sixth parliamentary administration of the period 2019 to 2024. Especially its poor voter mandate of 57% obtained in the 8th May 2019 election (which in practice means a voter support of only 28% of all the eligible voters) has made it politically insecure, agitated and unpredictable. This state of affairs is starting to stimulate dangerous revolutionary behaviour inside the ANC, harking back to its terrorist/freedom-fighter days.126
This kind of return and inclination to aspire to the worst (again) by a dying regime which has had outlived its shelf-life by years – solely by the suppression of its own people – we are seeing in Zimbabwe currently after the fall of the dictator Robert Mugabe and his replacement by Emmerson Mnangagwa. With the incoming Mnangagwa, the world and Zimbabweans became excited and only spoke of “a better life to come” – as voters did in South Africa believing that a new Dawn and Thuma Mina would be awaiting them. Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a similar pipe dream to that of Ramaphosa, a foolish project known as the Third Sona. The true outcome for post-Mugabe Zimbabwe has been quite the opposite.160 The Zimbabwean activist Kauzani’s reaction to and viewing of the new, so-called “rehabilitated” Zanu-P party and its regime, described the project as follows, as Pather and Allison noted160:22-23 “When the Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa rose to power, veteran political activist Ishmael Kauzani did not buy the “New Zimbabwe” narrative. He was suspicious of Mnangagwa’s long and brutal track record as one of Robert Mugabe’s top lieutenants. But he did not know that things would get so bad”.
The mention of a top lieutenant used by Kauzani is a reference to the Gukurahundi genocide in the 1980s in which Mnangagwa, together with Magube, has been implicated in the direct planning and execution of the massacre of ±20 000 black Zimbabweans. The present outcome of the “new good Mnangagwa-regime” is worse than in Mad Bob’s time: more people are fleeing Zimbabwe as exiles, more poverty has been registered, more flagrant violations of human rights, the further collapse of social, medical and educational services, and the increasing number of demonstrations, violent acts and general anarchy in Zimbabwe, on its deathbed under the Zanu-P party and regime. This situation is similar to the one in South Africa where political, social and economic deterioration since 1994 have occurred under the ANC, which is now also reaching a peak. South Africans, as did Kauzani in Zimbabwe, are not buying the “New ANC” narrative. The ANC’s track record and that of its top brass’ regarding corruption make them even more suspicious than before.160
The present infighting and back-stabbing inside the ANC and the rise of factions and of break-aways is “normal” in “aging” political parties and regimes. It is firstly the sign of the death knell of it as a regime, and secondly the end as a party of significance. [This clear “dying-off” was also reflected by the breakaway of the NP, splitting from the SAP, the Purified NP, breaking away from the NP before 1948 and the breakaway of the Reformed (Herstigte) NP from the Purified NP in the 1980s, to leave at the end only a rotting political carcass unable to deliver anything of value to their voters].161-163
18.104.22.168.4. Afterlife fear in the Present life pleasure
Death is a finality when the obituaries of the deceased are eventually published, in addition to knowing full well that the biblical rising up from the ashes by the unfortunate deceased in modern-day life is impossible. But the ANC has been dislodged this modern thinking in its effort to come back from the Afterlife after its death, ignoring its many obituaries in a last effort to escape from its grave. This wish to escape the Afterlife has been announced by the ANC’s leaders: from the Afterlife it has been begging ±57 million South Africans to forgive the ANC as an outright bad party and as an outright bad regime — and of course also the nefarious activities of its top brass and their cronies mired in immense corruption, theft, state and public capture and mismanagement perpetrated since 1994. On a New life for the ANC as a regime and for its dubious top brass after May 8, 2019, no form of punishment will escape the fires of hell, As such, Leon164 writes on this “last grasp” from the Afterlife on the Present life by the ANC164:20: “…the biggest laugh provided in the campaign to date arrived last weekend from our president, when Cyril Ramaphosa implored voters in Ladysmith not to ‘punish the ANC on 8 May’.”
Similar to the fear of Ramaphosa and many of the ANC’s cronies implicated in transgressions and relegated to the political Afterlife, was the “I beg you” of Thabo Meeko165, the ANC spokesperson for the Free State: before the May election, with his one foot already in the grave and clearly not very confident about his future in the Afterlife165:14: “Ons glo die mense sal ons vergewe.”
The terminal illness of the ANC in 2019, was illustrated by the listing of 22 alleged crooks as MPs and MPLs candidates happily participating in the May election and after the election the of many of them were reappointed in prominent positions in Parliament and in the ANC’s Luthuli house. The figures of David Mabuza, Gwen Mantashe, Bathabile Dlamani, Nomvula Mokonyane, Malusi Gigaba and Mosebenzi Zwane stand out as the main culprits. Even the ANC veterans and the ANC Veteran League (ANCVL) voiced their rejection of the ANC’s ill-advised appointments and its self-destructive intentions.166
22.214.171.124.5. Thabo Mbeki’s and Kgalema Motlanthe’s messages on the terminal illness of the ANC
On awaiting the passing away of the ANC, it is important to note ex-president Thabo Mbeki’s167 message (and his clear warning to the ANC that as a political entity it is coming to an end) in October 2017 when he delivered his OR Tambo-memorial-speech. Here are some extracts from Mbeki’s speech167:23:
In his 1941 presidential address to that year’s ANC national conference, Dr [Alfred Bitini] Xuma said: “To Congress we must be loyal and true. For Congress, we must forget any personal or sectional interests or gain. We must put the cause and the interests of the people before any expediency…To be true leaders, we must put the interests and welfare of our people above our own”.
Much later, in a December 1955 letter to the ANC, published in January 1956, Dr Xuma said: “Leadership means service and not domination over others. True and genuine leaders serve the cause of the people and do not expect the cause to serve them or become a source of profit and honour for them”.
Earlier, I said that the ANC now faces the third threat of destruction since its foundation almost 106 years ago. This time that threat emanates from acts of commission originating from within the ANC itself.
As we all know, the ANC gained access to state power from 1994 onwards. It was inevitable that this would happen because of the place which the ANC occupied in the hearts and minds of the majority of our people as their true representative.
However, the challenge which arose with this access to stage power was and is that it could be abused, was and is being abused for purposes of self-enrichment. This means that the ANC contains within its ranks people who are absolutely contemptuous of the most fundamental values of the ANC, at whose centre is a commitment selflessly to serve the people.
These are people who only see the ANC as a stepladder to enable them to access state power for the express purpose of using that access for self-enrichment.
By definition these are people who are card-carrying members of the ANC but who have completely repudiated the value system which inspired Oliver Tambo throughout his life.
Part of the national tragedy in this regard is that the ANC recognised the emergence of this immensely negative phenomenon quite early after 1994.
The fact of the matter is that during the last two decades, the ANC has failed to do the two things which Nelson Mandela mentioned in 1997 – to purge itself of the mercenaries who had joined its ranks and to make it difficult for such elements to join the movement.
This means that the historic value system of the ANC has become so corrupted that its replacement, that is unprincipled access to political power and the related corrupt self-enrichment, has in fact become the norm within the organisation.
Necessarily and logically, the qualitative change I have mentioned — arising from the failure to defeat the process of the increase in the numbers of those remained in the ranks of the ANC for selfish and corrupt reasons as described by Nelson Mandela – would in the end also affect the composition and quality of the very leadership of the movement.
I have sought to suggest that the negative situation currently affecting and characterising the ANC will, unless it is addressed correctly and immediately, sooner rather than later result in the destruction of the ANC.
Mbeki foresaw the coming demise of the ANC through self-destruction, and it would equally be a shame not to reflect on the opinion of ex-president Kgalema Motlanthe on the “deathbed-status” of the present-day ANC. Motlanthe168 – who had served as interim president from September 2008 to May 2009 (and was also secretary-general from 1997 to 2007 and the party’s deputy president from 2007 to 2012) – says the ANC is now in far worse shape than it was before the 2017 Nasrec-conference that had elected Cyril Ramaphosa. This opinion is echoed by many political analysts in two ways, namely that Ramaphosa, notwithstanding his so-called immense popularity with the voters, is indeed a failure. Motlanthe168 drops his harsh criticism strait on Ramaphosa’s regal head: he does not believe in messianic figures as leaders and neither does he believe that Ramaphosa is the messiah who will be able to save the ANC in the long term. Even more critical is his reference to the contaminated list of ANC candidates for the recent May 2019 elections, Motlanthe168 underscores that the ANC’s line-up is weak and lacks confidence. Echoing the doubt that many political analysts’ have expressed on the ANC as having a long future ahead as a viable and sustainable entity, he reacts168:4 “The ANC is not in great shape… I think to strengthen the ANC it needs a surgical overhaul from where it is now. It is worse than it was in 2017 [before the Nasrec-conference].” Before the Nasrec-conference in December 2017 Motlanthe168 had already said that168:4: “…he believed that ANC could only change if it died in its current form and was reborn as a grassroots movement”.
126.96.36.199.6. Other premature obituaries
The opinion of the deputy-president, David Mabuza42 on the future of the ANC, is very negative. In an interview with the City Press on the 27th April 2019 Mabuza reflects on the terminal illness of the ANC, based on the present stage of division in the party (in which he himself is an activist par excellence). The Rapport’s political editorial team reports on his view as follows42:1: “Adj.pres. David Mabuza het gister…gesê hy is baie bekommerd oor eenheid in die party. Hy meen die ANC staan op die punt om dood te gaan weens voortdurende interne struweling.”
In another recent April 2019 interview in Bophelong on the dying of the ANC, David Mabuza42 said furthermore42:1:
Die interne gevegte in die bewering bedreig die ANC se lewe. Ons sal dit eenvoudig moet oplos en agter ons kry. Die bose geeste van verdeeldheid is terug. Jy hoor elke dag nuus oor ons. Ons baklei met mekaar en gaan howe toe. Dit maak die ANC seer – iemand in die ANC sê dinge oor iemand anders in die ANC. Hoe kan ons mense vra om vir ons te stem as ons binne die ANC nie bymekaar kan staan nie. My boodskap aan die regerende party is om sy huis in orde te kry. As ons dit nie doen nie, loop ons werklikwaar die gevaar om die ANC dood te maak.
The above chaos within the ANC and of its fast approaching death, especially due to the intervention of Jacob Zuma169 and its suffering now only prolonged for a while by Cyril Ramaphosa, is echoed by Zuma’s self-confession (as one of the “mercenaries” who had used the ANC as a step-ladder to enable him to access state power for the express purpose of using it for self-enrichment). In his tribute to the ANC-leader, the late OR Tambo, Jacob Zuma reflects clearly cognisant while morally confused on the ANC as a regime of all the people of South Africa and his own role as an ANC top leader. It indicates that Zuma was already in April 2017 totally estranged from the ANC’s true, traditional values after his almost nine years of plotting and scheming to climb the steep ladder to the presidency. His destruction of the ANC and his stumbling to the political abyss, has been well illustrated, especially when Zuma writes on the 29th October 2017 in the Sunday Times as follows169:23: “Values, understanding, everything, is in theory one thing – but putting them into practice another. The issue for us is how to maintain the values we all believe in and implement them today. I would conclude…by saying that…running a country is more difficult than fighting for freedom.”
The above example of how it appears difficult to avoid chaos, disaster and self-destruction by the ANC, forced the editor170 of Beeld on the 2nd of April 2019 to wonder if the ANC is in anyway empowered to shed its criminality, corruption, autocracy and things such as money laundering and tender fraud that took possession of the mindsets of especially the top brass. The naming of “Ace Ten Persent” in the editorial, in a clear effort to identify Magashale’s political delinquencies in some way, tells a story of a party that cannot be revamped. The same kind of negativism evident in the editorial can be extended to almost all of ANC’s leaders, members and supporters.170
In this context the editor110 of the Sunday Times already in October 2017 gives us a clue why it has been so difficult for some of the executive leaders of the post-1994 ANC — especially Jacob Zuma, and now seemingly also Ramaphosa — to run the country with integrity.110,167 The editor110 of the Sunday Times in a nonchalant postulation tells us the story of how it came to this chaos110:26: “By his friends – thugs, smugglers and scofflaws – shall you know him [the president].”
Again, the re-entering after April 2019 with much ease of the many tainted comrades into the greater ANC’s leadership, as well as into the leadership of the factions of Ramaphosa and Magashule – together with their openly stated intentions to destroy each other — are reflected by political analysts as just another step in the advanced process of a dying ANC.43
An editorial126 of Saturday Star of March 2019 on the all-over contamination of the ANC’s psyche, reflects in terms of the presence of a level of zero goodness, the ANC’s present lack of integrity and its political bankruptcy and approaching death. This immense political train wreck forced the editor to ask126:12:
What does one have to do to get expelled from the ANC? Clearly, allowing a state capture network to take root is not enough. Nor is being charged with corruption. Nor is flouting the constitution.
…not only are those issues not sufficient to get you kicked out of the ANC, you are actually called up to help your comrades fight the upcoming election.
To non-ANC supporters, that clearly shows that the party is continuing under Cyril Ramaphosa, where it left off under Zuma and that the “New Dawn” and Thuma Mina slogans are 154:1merely that…words.
Also, Tim du Plessis154 announces the approach of the collapse of the ANC and states that the reason for it is because of “dubious” candidates appointed as a last resort to assure a contaminated and unjustified victory at the ballot box. The ANC top brass no longer have an ounce of intellectual prowess or integrity left, and are thus at a loss when it comes to political creativity. Political and personal integrity have become strangers to the ANC elite. For the ANC’s top brass it has become an obsession to hang on to the Present life and its enjoyments, notwithstanding the costs it has incurred for the masses of poor black people.126,154
Du Plessis154 continues his commentary when he writes on the 28th July 2019 in the Rapport that the ANC is the end-product of a revolutionary movement, which, after it came to power, only intended to drive out the “colonists” and then suddenly fell into a disorganised state. He writes154:6: “Sodra dié doel bereik is en die bevrydingsbeweging bekom beheer oor die staat, verbrokkel die beweging in faksies. Spoedig begin die faksies mekaar beveg om toegang tot die “buit” te kry en te behou. Die krygstuig in dié faksiegevegte is die staatsinstellings.”
Du Plessis154, in an in-depth analysis of the present-day dying-off of the ANC, writes further154:6:
‘n Lae donderwolk hang oor die land en al sy mense ná 25 jaar van ploeter-regering onder die ANC.
Een “troos” is dat dit slegter as ooit gaan in die ANC. In verlede week se Sunday Times [21st July 2019] skryf die akademikus en ontleder William Gumede: “Die ANC is in ‘n klassieke doodspiraal, in volgehoue agteruitgang waar hy aanhou om dieselfde mislukte redmiddels oor en oor toe te pas. Dit sal bloot sy ondergang verhaas, tot by die punt waar die party uiteindelik die mag verloor en vervang word deur nuwe spelers”.
Gumede sê die ANC glo hy kan sy eie ondergang keer met die aanhoudende “hersirkulering” van uitgediende leiers, is behep daarmee om die Zuma-faksie in die party te hou ter wille van “eenheid” met ‘n “aanhoudende gehamer op die slagkrete van die Koue Oorlog”.
In dieselfde uitgawe skryf die joernalis Ranjeni Munisamy, eens ‘n troue volgeling van Jacob Zuma: “Ons samelewing is nader as ooit aan ineenstorting met skurke en skobbejakke wat die politieke toneel oorheers.
A prominent sign of dying of a party is the sudden rogue attacks on each other by previous comrades consisting of name calling and court actions involving libel and slander. Jacob Zuma allegedly called Derek Hanekom “a person working with the enemy”, while Ace Magashule allegedly called Hanekom a “bedrieër”.57
Bruce171, although he seemingly believes he is able prop up Ramaphosa as the executive leader inside the ANC’s rotten carcass, in order to save South Africa temporarily, writes on the questionable vital power of the ANC, coming as far back as pre-1994, as follows171:16:
The ANC itself is beyond redemption. I knew it in exile in London. It was a wreck then and it’s a wreck now. In exile it was drunk, self-pitying and miserable. Its leaders railed against the West yet declined to live in the East, preferring England. I remember attending ANC public meetings where Oliver Tambo would due to speak. He never pitched. But the choir would sing, the poet would tell us how the blood of the martyrs was watering the tree of the revolution, and then the hat would be passed around. Worse, its ranks were riddled with the apartheid special branch. It made no preparation for ever forming a government. [Today the inner-ANC is riddled with SSA spooks and is the revolution of the masse of poor and landless Blacks at last coming after 2019 by their own initiative].
So how, for all of that, did the ANC develop a legitimacy in SA that, even after nearly 25 years of abject rule, no other group even remotely threatens. That is the damage apartheid inflicted on us all. The longer the Nats kept Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, the more powerful the ANC became. How dumb can you get?
When a political party efforts of rehabilitation is so desperate, forcing it to call-up “dead comrades” for their help in an election, begging wizards and oracles to save it from a fast-approaching demise, all hope is gone. This stage is the beginning of the countdown of the last days before the political Afterlife arrives. Moreover, the fact that many of the ANC’s faithful supporters are considering to abandon ship or have already decided to leave the party, means they have already picked-up the prevailing scent of death and decay.126
The overwhelming figure of Zuma present on the upper steps to the throne room of the ANC palace and his access to party structures, make it difficult for the few good people in the ANC to stem the inevitable rising tide of wretchedness. The present clash between the alleged good and bad elements inside the greater ANC, in an effort to bring Zuma and his cronies to book, spells disaster. It already signals the beginning of the end for the ANC which is already struggling to come to grips with its current circumstances. Zuma and his intimate cronies’ motto is: if Zuma must die, the ANC also must die. In the post-2019 ANC it means that if Jacob Zuma and his cronies manage to take down Cyril Ramaphosa, the party will implode, not only Ramaphosa’s faction. The bad element seems to have been encroaching fast on the assumed last vestiges of able power in the ANC.172 Munusamy172 clearly points to this outcome when she describes Zuma as she writes172:20: “Zuma will not hesitate to take everything and everyone down with him”.
The above well-planned devastating onslaught on the greater ANC in which Ramaphosa and his clan stand out as the main targets marked by Jacob Zuma and his clan to take over and rule in post-2019 South Africa, while introducing the country to an autocratic and revolutionary system, is well enlightened by Hlatshaneni when he reflects on the intensifying since July 2019 power-struggle inside the ANC in its “killing off” the last remaining signs of order. It is clearly a case to erase as much as possible of the present-day ANC’s integrity, character and heart-beat, to remould the impoverished ANC and State as soon as possible to the wishes of the Marxist Zuma and Magashule clans. Hlatshaneni173, in quoting Lord Peter Hain, a South African-British Labour Party politician, writes173:2:
The biggest threat to the ANC is the bad guys still trying to pull the President back and keep the fingers in the trough of looting.
What has happened in the Zuma era the economy has bombed, the international investor confidence has tanked, growth has dissipated, credit rating has fallen, and international business confidence is low – and they want more of the same.
The ANC’s two main supporters, the SACP and Cosatu, which have both kept the party in power through its leverage at the vote-box since 1994, have been moving out of its vital sphere. The ANC itself is captured in a poisonous leadership struggle, driven by power-madness and self-promotion inside the ANC’s established political dogma of Marxist-Leninist socialism. The ANC as a party has become outdated, a political stranger amongst it own people. It is a confused and disorganised organisation, as it had been in its days of exile.
The ANC is a dying party – so much so that its own top leaders Mbeki, Motlanthe and Mabuza. admit it. After 25 years of corrupt reign, it has suddenly become suicidal. It will not survive another five years as a regime to experience the 2024 elections. It has lost its political compass, its human values and moral consciousness. The many Piet Promises of the NP eventually became the many Piet Promises of the ANC. Promises are not food: promises are foolish dreams, lack trust and is essentially contempt for voters. It is the hallucinations of a dying party. The ANC’s leaders have became foolish dreamers and unrealistic politicians, bewitched by the evil psyche of the ANC. Moreover, they have become the Don Quixotes of the South African politics, sent by the ANC on an aimless journey of self-annulment. The ANC has lost its appeal with the masses of impoverished and landless black people.The failures of the ANC and its transgressions over 25 years, is just too much to be forgiven by the public. The ANC will never be trusted again.42,78,126,155,156,173
The present dismemberment of the ANC as a regime with a mandate of only 28% of the total eligible voters, is a party with both its feet in the grave and its political heart permanently split between two opposing corrupt groups. It makes the execution of any concrete and constructive form of land expropriation in the immediate future unfeasible. The land issue cannot be wished away. It’s a time bomb waiting to explode if it is not defused soon. A true South African and wise solution must be obtained quickly and comprehensively on the land-ownership matter. Some other political party or affiliation will have to accept the responsibility to complete in all haste the land expropriation problem mired in the current mess.136-139
The ANC is outdated. The word outdated has many meanings. It refers to descriptive words such as obsolete, outmoded, Stone Age, fossilised, kaput, and moribund, or has-been, out-of-date, useless, ineffective, moth-eaten, and many others. All these words are fully applicable to the ANC. The ANC worship of Marxist-Leninist socialism, a political ideology that failed nearly a century ago, tells us why the party and its political ideology was destined to fail in 1910 already. It also tells us why it is now dying.
In the next (Article 17), titled: “Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (17: Troubled ANC-leadership)”, the ability of the ANC to take care of the land expropriation matter in terms of the power it holds as ruler besowed on it by the 8th May 8 2019 election, will further be evaluated.
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