LET­TERS

Sly, shrewd Zuma ma­nip­u­lates fac­tions in the ANC

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Madoda Mbatha

IN LIGHT of the im­pend­ing Par­lia­men­tary vote of no con­fi­dence in Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, it is per­haps op­por­tune that we look at Mr Zuma’s cur­rent sit­u­a­tion vis à vis the ANC.

In my opin­ion, Mr Zuma is not the prob­lem. The ANC is. To the ex­tent that Mr Zuma has a sim­ple mind, is un­e­d­u­cated and runs a so­phis­ti­cated econ­omy, with no ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of eco­nom­ics, fi­nance, ba­sic maths and other rea­son­ably com­plex topics, is a huge prob­lem.

Mr Zuma can­not tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween a tril­lion, a bil­lion and even a thou­sand. A case in point, at the end of a three-day ANC na­tional gen­eral coun­cil con­fer­ence which was held in Midrand from Oc­to­ber 9 to 12, 2015, he strug­gled to cor­rectly read the fig­ures high­light­ing a de­cline in ANC mem­ber­ship.

Mr Zuma’s un­der­stand­ing of most things is lim­ited and ba­sic, for ex­am­ple how to pre­vent one­self from con­tract­ing HIV. How­ever, Mr Zuma is sly and shrewd enough to ma­nip­u­late some fac­tions within the ANC for sup­port.

That is what’s keep­ing him in power. The var­i­ous fac­tions within the ANC are de­struc­tive to the or­gan­i­sa­tion and are re­spon­si­ble for the dys­func­tion that cur­rently be­sets the ANC.

The lead­er­ship suc­ces­sion bat­tle within the ANC is along fac­tion lines.

There is no one can­di­date that en­joys the sup­port of all the fac­tions at the mo­ment. Maybe that per­son will emerge in due course; it is not clear at this stage.

The ANC and Mr Zuma put the in­ter­ests of the ANC first, over those of the coun­try.

That is the rea­son he ap­points and re­tains in­com­pe­tent min­is­ters (Batha­bile Dlamini, for ex­am­ple), for the sake of ap­peas­ing fac­tions that sup­port him – within the party.

Re­gard­ing Mr Zuma’s re­call:

the MPs in Par­lia­ment will not vote him out, for self-preser­va­tion. Most of them ben­e­fit fi­nan­cially from their po­si­tions, es­pe­cially the min­is­ters. Iron­i­cally, they need Mr Zuma for their sur­vival. If Mr Zuma were to leave, some of them would be reshuf­fled and lose their min­is­te­rial ben­e­fits.

We just have to look at Pravin Gord­han, and Mce­bisi Jonas’ re­ac­tion af­ter the reshuf­fle. Gord­han had turned the Trea­sury into his per­sonal fief­dom and had thought he was in­dis­pens­able.

Most of the min­is­ters do not have the skills and pro­fes­sions to fall back on. The ANC is their life.

So, the MPs will not re­call Mr Zuma. In this in­stance, the prob­lem is not Mr Zuma, but the ANC.

He had said he was will­ing to leave any time, if his move­ment tells him to. There is no cred­i­ble per­son at the mo­ment to as­sume lead­er­ship of the ANC. And this is per­haps the sad re­al­ity for the coun­try.

No cred­i­ble per­son to as­sume lead­er­ship

Joburg

JUST DO THE MATHS: Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma ar­rives for the morn­ing work­ing ses­sion on the sec­ond day of the G20 eco­nomic sum­mit in Ham­burg, Ger­many, ear­lier this month.

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