Man­tashe lashes out

A sur­vey has found that most of the neg­a­tive view of the ANC con­cerns Zuma’s deeds

Mail & Guardian - - News - Ma­tuma Let­soalo

ANC sec­re­tary gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe has taken an in­di­rect swipe at President Ja­cob Zuma for the party’s de­cline in elec­toral sup­port. In a scathing di­ag­nos­tic or­gan­i­sa­tional re­port pre­sented to the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee on Tues­day, in prepa­ra­tion for the party’s pol­icy con­fer­ence start­ing in Jo­han­nes­burg on Fri­day, Man­tashe warned ANC lead­ers not to use the “regime change agenda” nar­ra­tive to defend the alleged state cap­ture by the Gupta fam­ily.

Man­tashe re­vealed that the ANC’s in­ter­nal sur­vey con­ducted in the run-up to the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions showed that less than 50% of the pop­u­la­tion was pos­i­tive about the di­rec­tion the coun­try was tak­ing.

Fac­tors that Man­tashe says were iden­ti­fied by the re­search as in­flu­enc­ing the mood of the vot­ers are mainly linked to Zuma. They in­clude:

reshuf­fle, when Zuma re­moved Nh­lanhla Nene as fi­nance min­is­ter and re­placed him with ANC back- in the gov­ern­ing party to re­gard the Gupta fam­ily’s in­flu­ence over the de­ci­sions of the state as an in­va­sion of pri­vacy and as tam­per­ing with per­sonal re­la­tions.

“It is cor­rect to state that the Gup­tas can do busi­ness any­time, any­where with whom­so­ever, but the re­la­tion­ships with the fam­i­lies of prom­i­nent lead­ers at­tract the at­ten­tion of the peo­ple,” he said.

“When there are ben­e­fits that ac­crue to fam­i­lies of the lead­er­ship, it is as­sumed to be cor­rupt in that the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers are as­sumed to have fa­cil­i­tated the ac­crual of ben­e­fits.

“The lead­er­ship of the ANC should never be taken by sur­prise when so­ci­ety re­acts to such re­la­tions. In our case, we be­come dis­mis­sive and de­fen­sive about it,” said Man­tashe.

He said some ANC and gov­ern­ment lead­ers re­mained on the de­fen­sive about the fam­ily’s in­flu­ence de­spite in­ves­ti­ga­tions by Madon­sela and the South African Coun­cil of Churches.

“Se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions were made against a num­ber of the lead­ers of the ANC,” Man­tashe said.

“In­stead of deal­ing with the re­al­ity fac­ing the move­ment … a nar­ra­tive was de­vel­oped that linked any dis­com­fort with the in­flu­ence of the Gupta fam­ily to the regime change agenda.”

He said that, although regime change is “a real threat”, it should not be used as the stan­dard re­sponse when al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion rear their head.

Link­ing the regime change nar­ra­tive to state cap­ture re­flected the de­cline of “our an­a­lyt­i­cal ca­pac­ity”, Man­tashe added.

“The se­ries of emails that are be­ing re­leased in tranches each day are caus­ing more harm [to] the move­ment.

“Our re­ac­tion can­not be care­less, but it needs to be com­pre­hen­sive. Where we must own up, in­di­vid­ual com­rades should do so as a few have done, and then give a rep­utable ex­pla­na­tion. Bla­tant de­nial lacks cred­i­bil­ity in the eyes of so­ci­ety,” said Man­tashe.

He also lam­basted some ANC lead­ers for us­ing the ar­gu­ment of “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal” to coun­ter­pose the be­hav­iour of the Gupta fam­ily.

“In the process, we in­vent ‘white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal’ as a new phe­nom­e­non in­stead of af­firm­ing that its de­feat is at the heart of the revo-

[na­tional demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion].

“The other dis­ad­van­tage of this nar­ra­tive is that it uses the low­est com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor and com­pares rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies to the apartheid state. If we are com­pa­ra­ble, then we must ac­cept that cor­rup­tion is there­fore sys­temic in our move­ment, as was the case with the apartheid state,” said Man­tashe.

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