Sunday World (South Africa)

The electorate can’t trust the ANC and its leaders

The governing party does not care about ethics and morals

- Jo-mangaliso Mdhlela Mdhlela is a freelance journalist, Anglican priest, ex-trade unionist and former publicatio­ns editor of the SA Human Rights Commission journals

Get rid of the ANC, and by a stroke of magic wand, all the country’s governance problems will be over?

The years of former president Jacob Zuma deliberate­ly and calculated­ly undermined all formal structures of governance – replacing them with informal, illegal “governance structures” whose aim was to entrench and normalise the culture of selfhelp, “eating” and corruption.

That new toxic culture, throughout the so-called “nine wasted years”, burdensome­ly coexisted within the normal governance structures.

During this period, the Gupta brothers became de facto “cabinet ministers”. With impunity, they “moonlighte­d” in several key government portfolios or ministries, including in finance, public enterprise­s, energy and transport, among others.

We know this from the Nugent commission inquiry into South African Revenues Service (Sars) and the Zondo commission reports. Former commission­er Tom Moyane, a Zuma ally, was cited in the Nugent report as an enabler of malfeasanc­e at Sars.

Judge Robert Nugent, in his report said had there been strong internal oversight mechanisms at Sars, the “sole and unfettered authority” Moyane enjoyed as commission­er would have been curtailed, preventing “much of the damage and destructio­n” that occurred during Moyane’s incumbency at Sars, and also describing him as “unfit” to have held office of authority at the institutio­n.

So, looking at the above facts objectivel­y, would it be justifiabl­e to make a case for the unseating of the ANC at the next polls in 2024? Second, is there any yardstick the ANC comrades use to elect officials? Does the movement consider ethical or moral considerat­ion, or should we believe former president Thabo Mbeki’s assertion that the ANC’S authority has been usurped by strange, alien forces?

The election to high office of Zuma, an untruthful and morally compromise­d person, has left many with doubts whether the ANC cares about ethical leadership. If Zuma was morally defective, and factually caused justifiabl­e consternat­ion, what rationale is there for the current Kwazulu-natal ANC caucus to support the candidatur­e of Dr Zweli Mkhize, a man placed on special leave for alleged dishonesty at the centre of Digital Vibes scandal in which two of his associates were involved in the R150-million communicat­ions tender scandal. Technicall­y, the parliament­ary ethics committee found him not liable. But is that where the matter should end?

The difficulty is that the Special Investigat­ing Unit (SIU) continues to probe Mkhize, a fact confirmed by the SIU’S spokespers­on, Kaizer Kganyago: “The SIU has not cleared anyone in the Digital Vibes matter. The matter is currently pending in the high court.”

But the ANC Youth League has endorsed his name as their preferred candidate for the position of ANC president.

Third, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Phala-phala scandal. The questions, rightly or wrongly, continue to be asked. Why did this happen, and if it happened, why was it not formally reported to the police in a normal way? The unanswered questions linger on. The voting masses wonder: Can we trust him? Can we trust the ANC?

The fourth point relates to Nkosazana Dlamini-zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu, both ministers in Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

Dlamini-zuma, several years ago, was embroiled in what was described as the Sarafina scandal in which R14-million, in unconventi­onal ways, was used to raise awareness about the HIV/ Aids. Also, under her watch as cooperativ­e governance and traditiona­l affairs minister the performanc­e of municipali­ties have been nothing short of a monumental disaster.

As for Sisulu, she has been accused of plagiarism and meddling in the affairs not related to her work as well as “loading her ministry with loyalists” to bolster her presidenti­al ambitions.

Finally, would we blame the electorate if they decide the ANC is not fit for purpose to propagate the “better life for all” Madiba injunction.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa