ANC FAC­TIONS FACE A FU­TURE PART­ING OF WAYS

Cape Times - - OPINION - GE­ORGE DEVENISH

THE South African Con­sti­tu­tion makes the sta­tus of non-racial­ism cat­e­gor­i­cally clear by declar­ing in sec­tion 1, deal­ing with the fun­da­men­tal val­ues on which our demo­cratic sov­er­eign state is based, that non-racial­ism is one of these val­ues.

Fur­ther­more, both the ANC’s own con­sti­tu­tion and the leg­endary Free­dom Char­ter en­dorse this vi­tal prin­ci­ple by declar­ing cat­e­gor­i­cally in the lat­ter that “South Africa be­longs to all who live in it, black and white”. The above is an ex­pla­na­tion of the con­sti­tu­tional and le­gal po­si­tion as well as the tra­di­tional and his­tor­i­cal po­lit­i­cal po­si­tion of the ANC.

In the heroic lib­er­a­tion strug­gle, the ANC’s lead­er­ship and prom­i­nent spokesper­sons and lead­ers re­flected this prin­ci­ple of non-racial­ism.

In this re­gard, The­uns Eloff, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the De Klerk Foun­da­tion, has penned a very in­ter­est­ing and per­cep­tive ar­ti­cle on the an­ti­thet­i­cal per­spec­tives in re­la­tion to the sem­i­nal ques­tion of non-racial­ism in the now ac­ri­mo­niously di­vided ANC. He does this us­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­for­ma­tion from a 30-page leaked doc­u­ment of the Thabo Mbeki Foun­da­tion, which has caused a furore on so­cial me­dia and par­tic­u­larly with the ANC.

First, Eloff points out that the Thabo Mbeki Foun­da­tion be­lieves the is­sue of ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion (EWC) is pos­si­ble with­out a for­mal amend­ment to sec­tion 25 of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

How­ever, what is of pro­found sig­nif­i­cance is that the de­mand for such an amend­ment is un­for­tu­nately race-based. Sec­ond, in this re­gard he ex­plains that the cru­cial is­sue is how this re­cent ANC de­ci­sion to amend sec­tion 25 for the ex­press pur­pose of EWC im­pacts in no un­cer­tain man­ner on the need to build a non­ra­cial so­ci­ety as en­vis­aged in both the Con­sti­tu­tion and that of the ANC as a po­lit­i­cal party.

His opin­ion is a clear in­di­ca­tion that the TMF has come to the in­escapable con­clu­sion that the ex­tant ANC has de­parted from the tra­di­tional view and prin­ci­ple of non-racial­ism.

He opines that the in­evitable re­sult of this is that the ANC has ef­fec­tively been trans­formed into an es­sen­tially “black or African­ist party” in the nar­row sense of the word. This means the ANC can no longer be a “par­lia­ment of the peo­ple” as it has been his­tor­i­cally.

Eloff ob­serves that for some time now, start­ing with the Zuma pres­i­dency, mat­ters have gone awry and that a process of re-racial­is­ing the state and its op­er­a­tion has been oc­cur­ring in­ex­orably.

This is bring­ing about a sys­tem of racial na­tion­al­ism, fa­cil­i­tated by ag­gres­sive af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion, in the form of cadre de­ploy­ment, rad­i­cal black em­pow­er­ment and un­qual­i­fied em­ploy­ment eq­uity – all un­der the guise of “trans­for­ma­tion”. Racial rep­re­sen­ta­tion, based most fre­quently on the na­tional de­mog­ra­phy of 80% African, 9% coloured, 9% white and 2% In­dian, gives rise to a racial for­mula of 80:9:9:2 for these groups when it comes to em­ploy­ment in the civil ser­vice and else­where.

The marginal­i­sa­tion of mi­nori­ties has also been ex­ac­er­bated by the vo­cif­er­ous rhetoric of de­coloni­sa­tion which has emerged out of the #FeesMustFall move­ment at the uni­ver­si­ties, start­ing with UCT.

In cer­tain pol­icy doc­u­ments deal­ing with the Na­tional Demo­cratic Revo­lu­tion, white South Africans were de­scribed derog­a­tively as “colo­nial­ists of a spe­cial kind”. All of this must in­evitably give rise to a man­i­fest po­lar­i­sa­tion, rather than na­tional rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and na­tion build­ing.

The two streams or fac­tions as­so­ci­ated with Ramaphosa and Zuma re­spec­tively are prob­a­bly in­com­pat­i­ble and at some time in the fu­ture there must be a part­ing of the ways. This could change the face of South African pol­i­tics fun­da­men­tally for ever.

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