ANC faces new threat

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THE ANC, fresh from its un­der­whelm­ing na­tional pol­icy conference last week, which was more a proxy battle about the up­com­ing elec­tive conference than any think tank on a blue­print for the fu­ture, faces a new threat – from deep within its ranks.

Makhosi Khoza is an ANC back­bencher with a proven record in pub­lic and pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions, who could well have made a life for her­self out­side pol­i­tics. As such, she is per­haps one of the most dan­ger­ous voices in an in­sti­tu­tion of­ten crip­pled by pa­tron­age.

She is re­fus­ing to be si­lenced by her party bosses and to­day stands out as a lone voice, urg­ing the ANC to let its mem­bers in the House vote in se­cret when the Speaker ta­bles the no-con­fi­dence de­bate on the pres­i­dent next month.

It is a gam­bit that the party dare not al­low be­cause the stakes are sim­ply too high.

The prob­lem for the ANC is that Khoza is ar­tic­u­lat­ing what many South Africans think – and which party sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe high­lighted last week – that the party no longer rep­re­sents the as­pi­ra­tions of the peo­ple, but rather a self-en­rich­ing cor­rupt elite, which peo­ple join in a bid to milk the sys­tem, rather than serv­ing it.

To make mat­ters worse, Khoza has re­ceived death threats, fur­ther adding to the per­cep­tion it is dan­ger­ous to speak against the sta­tus quo, es­pe­cially in a prov­ince like KwaZulu-Na­tal where peo­ple are as­sas­si­nated for their po­lit­i­cal views and am­bi­tions.

Which leaves the ANC in an in­vid­i­ous po­si­tion. Ev­ery party holds its mem­bers to a code of con­duct, dis­ci­plin­ing them when they break ranks. If it acts against Khoza, though, it would be seen to bul­ly­ing a brave and prin­ci­pled mem­ber – and con­don­ing the rot that many ANC mem­bers agree ex­ists through­out the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

If it does noth­ing, it runs the risk of fo­ment­ing – and tac­itly le­gal­is­ing – a re­volt not just in its party cau­cus, but all the way down to the grass­roots, cre­at­ing a schism so fun­da­men­tal it could de­stroy the party for­ever.

The ANC truly is in an in­vid­i­ous po­si­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.