True words from ‘po­lit­i­cal id­iot’

The Herald (South Africa) - - Opinion & Analysis - JUS­TICE MALALA

When­ever I feel like de­press­ing my­self with a bit of mind­less twad­dle I google the name Mzwanele Manyi.

With­out fail, the man who once shocked the na­tion by say­ing there is an “over-sup­ply of coloureds” in the Western Cape and who, two years ago, be­came an in­stant “me­dia mogul” as part of the Gupta money laun­der­ing scheme, will have said some­thing mo­ronic in the week past.

He is the po­lit­i­cal id­iot that keeps giv­ing.

Manyi, on his speedy jour­ney to­wards po­lit­i­cal obliv­ion, has stopped sev­eral times this year to tell us that he has started yet an­other non­sen­si­cal po­lit­i­cal party.

The aptly named ATM party – for there is noth­ing that our Manyi en­joys more than a bit of pa­tron­age from the Gup­tas – is his sec­ond po­lit­i­cal home in as many months.

Fancy a bet?

He will not suc­ceed.

He is no po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tive. He doesn’t have the smarts.

He is just a des­per­ate, con­fused lackey of the Gup­tas try­ing to find a new way to make a few bob. He is a use­ful id­iot who lends the Gupta fam­ily his faux Black Con­scious­ness cre­den­tials so they can evade the law and de­flect ac­count­abil­ity.

Any­way, I was pun­ish­ing my­self with some Manyi twad­dle last week when the man said some­thing that is per­haps worth pay­ing two cents for.

Asked why he left the ANC, Manyi de­clared that “the ANC has done all it could do and is now very tired and fa­tigued”. He is sadly right.

The ANC is ex­hausted – and it now has a seem­ingly un­solv­able co­nun­drum and con­tra­dic­tion at its very core.

The re­formist “Thuma Mina” bri­gade sits cheek by jowl with the cor­rupt Zupta gang in the party with no sepa­ra­tion or divorce in sight.

Such a toxic em­brace can only lead to death.

Noth­ing il­lus­trates this more than the events of the past week as the party once again went into over­drive to cel­e­brate its 107th birth­day.

There was Ja­cob Zuma, sit­ting on stage along­side Na­tional Assem­bly speaker Baleka Mbete, ANC KwaZulu-Natal chair­per­son Sihle Zikalala and ANC eThek­wini chair­per­son Zandile Gumede as party pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa spoke at the Oh­lange In­sti­tute out­side of Dur­ban.

It is just amaz­ing, re­ally. Here is a man who has made the ANC the laugh­ing stock of the world, who has di­vided the party more than any­one else in its 107-year his­tory, and yet he was be­ing hailed and feted as a hero.

News re­ports say that the large crowd broke into ap­plause sev­eral times as Ramaphosa men­tioned Zuma.

Ramaphosa him­self was ef­fu­sive: “Thank you to the for­mer pres­i­dent for show­ing a real face of unity that both of us are com­mit­ted to.”

Ho hum. Ramaphosa knows that Zuma has been desta­bil­is­ing the ANC from within since his pre­ferred can­di­date, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, lost the party lead­er­ship con­test in De­cem­ber 2017.

Ask ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule – he told a Zuma-sup­port­ing crowd in Fe­bru­ary 2018 that it was only five years to go be­fore they got “their ANC back”. These are mere di­gres­sions, though.

The value of Manyi’s as­sess­ment that the ANC is fa­tigued lies in the fact that peo­ple like him and Zuma can still be re­garded as use­ful by a party that speaks of in­tegrity as a core value.

Ramaphosa told the Oh­lange rally: “Where nec­es­sary, we have taken mea­sures to deal with cadres who have un­der­mined the in­tegrity of the move­ment and the eth­i­cal stan­dards ex­pected of pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ANC lead­ers.

“This is among the most dif­fi­cult of or­gan­i­sa­tional tasks, but we re­main res­o­lute in our ef­forts to stamp out de­viant and ab­hor­rent prac­tices.”

One must wish Ramaphosa luck in his en­deav­ours.

It is in­deed a mam­moth task.

Yet the truth of the mat­ter is that the ANC looks now in­creas­ingly be­yond res­cue.

The Zuma years have bro­ken it.

It is not a po­lit­i­cal party. It is a con­glom­er­ation of fac­tions – one of which is try­ing to loot as much as pos­si­ble be­fore the lights go out.

Ramaphosa’s at­tempts to fix the party are fall­ing on deaf ears within the party it­self.

That is why there were plans to boo him in KZN.

The 2019 elec­tion will give the ANC yet an­other win at na­tional level.

If the in­creas­ingly hap­less DA was more fo­cused there was a pos­si­bil­ity of eat­ing into the con­tra­dic­tion-rid­dled ANC’s base, but the DA is it­self pretty rud­der­less at present.

The EFF is just an­other fac­tion of the ANC – see how two of those fac­tions looted VBS Mu­tual Bank.

Yet, even if it wins the 2019 elec­tions the ANC’s in­ter­nal con­tra­dic­tions and fac­tions will con­tinue.

The des­per­a­tion of the likes of Zuma to evade trial will drive these fac­tions.

The party will con­tinue to limp.

In the run-up to the 2024 elec­tions it will splin­ter (with a KwaZulu Natal-led fac­tion built around Zuma walk­ing out).

The weaker, splin­tered party will then lose the elec­tions.

Even if it wins the 2019 elec­tions the ANC’s in­ter­nal con­tra­dic­tions and fac­tions will con­tinue

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