Hell-bent on de­fend­ing Zuma

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - David wa Tshi­tavhani

THE ANC is de­vour­ing it­self by try­ing to pro­tect one man, thanks to the de­bil­i­tat­ing ef­fects of fac­tional pol­i­tics be­set­ting the func­tional ma­chin­ery of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma is pro­tected by those closer to him in the NEC un­der the pre­text that the or­gan­i­sa­tion can­not af­ford an­other split.

This blind loy­alty has been the ANC’s Achilles heel for some time and threat­ens to di­vide the once great move­ment down the mid­dle, in the run-up to the wa­ter­shed De­cem­ber congress.

In the lat­est NEC meet­ing, the or­gan­i­sa­tion took a de­ci­sion to keep the pres­i­dent un­til his term ex­pired in the much-awaited congress.

As if that was not enough, the or­gan­i­sa­tion warned of dire con­se­quences to those who will vote against the party line in Par­lia­ment upon a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in the pres­i­dent. This de­ci­sion can come back to haunt the ANC in the event that the er­ratic pres­i­dent is en­tan­gled in more un­eth­i­cal con­duct which might war­rant his cronies to jump to his de­fence be­fore the con­fer­ence.

The pres­i­dent is prone to scan­dals and this has been epit­o­mised by the SACP gen­eral-sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande in his ad­dress to the 14th party congress. Con­gru­ent to the de­ci­sion to keep him, the ANC might be forced to de­fend him in the event of any mis­de­meanour be­fore con­fer­ence.

This goes a long way in pro­ject­ing the ANC, in the eyes of the vot­ers as an ar­ro­gant party hell-bent on de­fend­ing Ja­cob Zuma come hell or high wa­ter.

The vot­ers’ re­course is in the uni­ver­sal suf­frage guar­an­teed to the po­lit­i­cal tra­jec­tory by the ANC. They ex­er­cised this in the re­cent lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions where the ANC suf­fered a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat, for the first time since 1994, and lost some of the strate­gic met­ros.

The ANC could ig­nore the warn­ing signs at its own peril if the re­cent lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions were any­thing to go by. Joel Net­shiten­zhe likened the un­con­di­tional pro­tec­tion of the delin­quent Zuma to a fam­ily try­ing to pro­tect one of its mem­bers who com­mit­ted a crime for the sake of unity. He ar­gued that this act can­not be said to be in the name of unity but sim­ply com­plic­ity to the crime.

The pres­i­dent has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion to re­view and set aside former pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela’s State of Cap­ture re­port. And lately the new pub­lic pro­tec­tor, ad­vo­cate Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane, in an un­prece­dented move, crit­i­cised the pres­i­dent and opined that the ap­pli­ca­tion lacks any prospect of suc­cess.

Mkhwe­bane also said that the pres­i­dent has no right to de­cide which judge will over­see the state cap­ture in­quiry.

The ini­ti­a­tion of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion into state cap­ture, which the pub­lic pro­tec­tor is more likely to or­der, will in­evitably fur­ther be­stow more trou­bles on Zuma. The prover­bial chick­ens will come home to roost if the ANC NEC, this time around, will dare to pro­tect Zuma on this one.

The ANC should self-cor­rect and re­jig its tor­pe­doed im­age, to ar­rest the de­clin­ing for­tunes and pub­lic trust.

Zuma and his close con­fi­dantes con­sider all this to be vit­riol by his de­trac­tors and go to the ex­tent of em­ploy­ing con­spir­acy the­o­ries, by ac­cus­ing the West of regime change agenda. If the West does not want him, and the SACP, which is an em­bod­i­ment of com­mu­nist ide­ol­ogy in the coun­try, does not want him in their events, then who wants him? Tshisahulu, Vhembe Re­gion, Lim­popo

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