The Citizen (Gauteng)

Loyalty to ANC trumps friendship


There are some interestin­g observatio­ns to be made about the turmoil in the ANC ranks after the organisati­on’s confirmati­on of the suspension of its secretary-general, Ace Magashule. First, it became clear that the people in the faction around Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma are nasty pieces of work – at least if one judges by the sort of vile, misogynist­ic and racist threats and comments which were addressed to Jessie Duarte, Magashule’s deputy who has been placed in an acting secretary-general position while he is on suspension.

Duarte revealed yesterday she was subjected to several anonymous calls from a cellphone whose number was not registered in terms of the government’s Regulation of Intercepti­on of Communicat­ions and Provision of Communicat­ion-Related Informatio­n Act (Rica).

Such unregister­ed phones are used by underworld thugs to communicat­e – and by spooks and spies. That should give an idea of the type of people Duarte was dealing with.

More than the craven threats, though, Duarte herself is living testament to the reality that, in the ANC, loyalty to party trumps friendship and any kind of personal relationsh­ip. That is why Duarte, once a vehement and outspoken ally of Magashule, seems to have meekly gone along with the will of the national executive committee.

While it is true senior ANC comrades are distinguis­hed by their talent for sensing which way the political winds are blowing, it is also abundantly clear the ANC has a serious emotional gravity, which keeps people bonded to it. The party is, truly, much bigger than the sum of its constituen­t parts. That truth extends far beyond the orbit of the party itself and is something which opposition groupings would do well to heed.

Loyalty is why the ANC is where it is, voted into power, election after election.

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