‘Too late to unite tri­par­tite al­liance’

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - NONI MOKATI

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma’s call for a more uni­fied tri­par­tite al­liance is too lit­tle, too late, ac­cord­ing to some an­a­lysts.

They main­tain that the al­ready strained re­la­tions be­tween the ANC, SACP and Cosatu are bound to worsen as the rul­ing party finds it­self at a cross­roads.

In his Jan­uary 8 state­ment ad­dress at Or­lando Sta­dium at the week­end, Zuma said late ANC leader Oliver Tambo high­lighted the im­por­tance of the ANC body and its al­liance part­ners in strength­en­ing each other.

“We in­her­ited this strate­gic al­liance, which was forged in the cru­cible of Strug­gle, and we dare not be cav­a­lier in how we treat one an­other and our al­liance,” Zuma said, adding the ANC’s task was to unite the al­liance, to guard it jeal­ously and not to tear it apart.

But po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Prince Mashele be­lieves Zuma’s im­pas­sioned plea should have been out­lined a long time ago.

“The pres­i­dent’s call is im­por­tant, but it’s too late. It is late in the sense that you can’t make a call like this in an elec­tive year. The party is bound to split into var­i­ous fac­tions sup­port­ing dif­fer­ent can­di­dates in the lead-up to the elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber. He (Zuma) should have made the call for unity long be­fore this mo­ment. He him­self should have (stood) as the glue that unites the al­liance,” he said.

“The SACP has been very vo­cal about the state cap­ture of the ANC. It is not happy about it. Sim­i­larly, Cosatu has been weak­ened by the split within its or­gan­i­sa­tion. It hasn’t been speak­ing with a united voice. There­fore, the al­liance is weak be­cause the mother body it­self is fee­ble.”

Pro­fes­sor Su­san Booy­sen, of the Wits School of Gov­er­nance, de­scribed the al­liance as a shadow of its former self.

She said that while it had been a known fact that the SACP had been strong and loyal to the rul­ing party, it was rapidly turn­ing away from the ANC.

“One can­not crit­i­cise the SACP and Cosatu with­out look­ing at what has gone wrong in the ANC and how cred­i­ble or not the rul­ing party is.

“One thing we know is that Pres­i­dent Zuma is a fac­tional leader, and as a re­sult, the call of unity doesn’t come from a cred­i­ble source.

“I’m not sure if there is any­one who has the abil­ity to unite the al­liance,” Booy­sen said.

In re­ac­tion to the Jan­uary 8 state­ment, the SACP said the coun­try needed a united, and not fac­tion­alised, ANC, adding it em­braced the rul­ing party’s theme of Unity in Ac­tion.

Cosatu, on the other hand, said the al­liance needed to re­gain its po­lit­i­cal co­her­ence to ro­bustly pur­sue and ful­fil the goals and as­pi­ra­tions of “our peo­ple”.

“We need to de­fend and con­sol­i­date the con­ver­gence that has ex­isted within the ANC-led al­liance around the need for a fun­da­men­tal and more rad­i­cal phase of our demo­cratic tran­si­tion.”

The union fed­er­a­tion warned that the ANC needed to ex­or­cise it­self of the cul­ture of ac­cu­mu­la­tion, which had al­lowed cap­i­tal to in­flu­ence the con­tent and di­rec­tion of its rev­o­lu­tion.

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