Loss of state power could save ANC

Sowetan - - Opinion -

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.

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