Party must break from traditions
HUMAN beings are creatures of habit. Often, we do things because it’s what our parents did. There are a number of stories to illustrate the point.
One tells of a young bride who was keen to cook her newly wed husband a roast. She followed her mother’s recipe and, like her mother did, cut off the ends of the meat before putting it into the pan.
The husband thought the meat was delicious but questioned why she had cut off the ends, which, in his opinion, were the best parts. She responded that it was the way her mother used to do it.
A few weeks later the couple were dining with the wife’s mother, who decided to make the same roast. She too trimmed off the end of the meat. When questioned, she responded it was what her mother did.
A call was made to the grandmother to establish whether cutting the end bit of the meat made it tastier. Grandma’s response was: “Darling, that was the only way it would fit in the pan.”
The point is that all too often we follow tradition blindly. The ANC is no different. Well over a century old, it has a few traditions of its own. One is that the deputy president of the party becomes the president.
It was this tradition that played a big part in Jacob Zuma becoming president. But the tradition is being questioned.
Last weekend, ANC KwaZulu-Natal leader Sihle Zikalala and his ANC provincial colleagues made it clear that they rejected the tradition, saying a future ANC president should be chosen on their qualities, not the position they held in the party.
His logic is sound. If we are to move forward, we have to constantly question what we do and why we do it.
The mere fact that something was done in the past is no longer good enough.