Loss of state power could save ANC
The most insightful comment made this week in the wake of a court decision to declare the election of the current provincial executive committee in KwaZuluNatal invalid was made by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.
The ANC stalwart told BBC news that the party needed to hit “rock bottom” and lose the national elections “for the penny to drop” in the minds of ANC members.
“It would be good for the ANC itself if it was voted out, because those elements who are in it for the largess will quit, will desert it, and only then the possibility would arise to salvage whatever is left of it,” he said.
As a former secretary-general of the ANC who was in charge of the day-to-day administration of the party for years, Motlanthe knows that the rot runs deep.
The fight for positions is only about one thing: access to state patronage, in other words, the pillaging of taxpayers money.
They love money more than their party and their country.
The election of Jacob Zuma as ANC president in 2007, already facing more than 700 charges of corruption, only served to accelerate the sense of entitlement to the public purse and looting of taxpayers money on a grand scale, as the Guptaleak e-mails have laid bare.
Given the highly factionalised state of Zuma’s ANC, it’s going to be interesting to see how the national executive committee resolves the KZN debacle in the months leading to the party’s elective conference in December.
The stakes could not be higher for presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa who both enjoy significant support from the two main factions in the province, the biggest ANC region in the country.
The events in KZN prove that whoever is the eventual winner of the presidential contest, the ANC is in trouble. It may even be beyond redemption.
Perhaps Motlanthe is correct in his assessment that it needs to lose power to lose the hordes of shameless opportunists it has attracted owing to its control of the public purse.
Only once it has lost these undesirables, keeping only people who genuinely want to selflessly serve our people, can it hope to rise from the ashes and earn the trust and confidence of the people.