Mmegi Blogs :: Shall it be Cyril, shall it be Nkosazana?
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Friday 20 July 2018, 14:06 pm.
Shall it be Cyril, shall it be Nkosazana?

Competition for the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC) has never been so intense. Seven names jostling for the top position, three females and four males!
By Michael Dingake Tue 05 Dec 2017, 19:18 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Shall it be Cyril, shall it be Nkosazana?

Besides, the ANC has never been faced with  a similar crisis directly from the presidency. I can remember three ANC crises its chequered history spanning 105 years! The first was when the young Turks who had formed their ANC Youth League (ANCYL)  to nudge the moderate elders to adopt the Programme of Action to shake things up a bit. The youth got bored of petitions and unending talks with authorities that got isizwe esintsudu (black nation) nowhere! Impatient and energetic, the young Turks wanted the ANC to resort to action: strike, boycott, defiance and demonstration against apartheid meted against them. Programme of (militant) Action the youth wanted the ANC to embark on. 

 Dr AB Xuma, ANC president listened, heard, but was unimpressed. Finding none in the leadership to embrace their Programme, the youth recruited Dr JS Moroka from outside ANC ranks , promptly proposed and had him elected president, willing to lead the Programme of Action campaign they demanded.

The next ANC crisis emerged as Pan Africanism, injected by the stampede of African independence, that intensified under Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. A section of the ANC youth members objected to the clause of the Freedom Charter adopted at Kliptown in 1955 that said, “South Africa belonged to all who live in it, black and white…”  Argument suffused the political atmosphere on the eve of 1958 national conference; it exploded into a split that engendered the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania shortly after the conference.

 Again in 1969, on the eve of the crucial Morogoro Conference (Tanzania), the ANC had to deal with a dissidence crisis emanating from the ANC decision to open its doors to other racial groups. Hitherto, the ANC was an organisation whose membership was restricted to Africans (black). The dispute ended in expulsion of eight prominent ANC members! Currently, ANC faces another internal crisis likely to leave a mark on its history. This crisis occurs under new conditions when  ANC has been in power for more than 20 years! ANC is no longer a movement skulking in the shadows , agitating for rights of some oppressed group(s) but an organisation in the saddle, calling shots and expected to deliver the goodies it promised South Africans in the Freedom Charter. The big question is the how, the when and the why of the scheduled deliveries.

One word encapsulates the crisis in all its ramifications, colours and shades: corruption! Corruption rules the ANC. Opposition is gleeful; the person in the street bemoans it;  ANC members shamefully admit it; ANC veterans , retired/semi-retired, condemn it, while people of goodwill from all the cardinal points of the planet, are astounded and disappointed.

The corruption stigma has already indicated how the voters view the


un-ANC ANC! In August 2016 local government elections, the ANC got its just dessert.

Three metropolitans, gone to the opposition!  Marches and demos calling JZ to step down have multiplied; senior ANC members have added their voices to the call for the president to step down, to no effect!

The opposition parties are obviously licking their chops at the stalemate between President JZ, much implicated in the Public Protector state of capture report and ANC veterans calling for him to step down. Cracks appear in the walls of the ANC structures across the country and the nine provinces.

Divisions litter  the ANC superstructure, speculation has gained currency that the much anticipated conference may not happen as scheduled! Never in the history of the ANC has there been so many contenders for the position of president. Some observers interpret the enthusiasm to become ANC president nowadays as expression of greed to service the gravy train, not to serve! In the olden days of freedom  struggle, only the brave and the self-sacrificial characters came forward to serve. To be in the official leadership position during those days, was to court imprisonment, torture and death.  It’s different today, hence the stampede to run for office. Seven names are in the hat to lead the ANC to recovery and service to RSA for the next five or even 10 years, Deo vo lente!

 Two candidates Cyril Ramaphosa (CR 17) and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (NDZ) lead the polls. Both have good struggle credentials. CR 17 led Mineworkers Union in the apartheid days, played a role in CODESA negotiations particularly in the drafting of the commendable constitution of the RSA; he promises a New Deal with corruption as Enemy Number One! NDZ earned her stripes in exile and has performed well in the ministerial portfolios she has held under the ANC administration: Health, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs. Her war cry is to implement Radical Economic Transformation (RET) adopted in Mangaung in 2012 and recently revisited by President, JZ .

NDZ isn’t without little skeletons (skelethenenyana) in her wardrobe. She’s the ex-wife of JZ, who has publicly endorsed her candidature! That’s not all; in the recently published book: The Presidents Keepers, which portrays JZ  not only as a Gupta captive but a tax dodger, the author, exposes NDZ as a  captive of the Italian Mafioso, one Adrino Mazzotti, a confessed tobacco smuggler, fraudster, tax evader, racketeer and money-launderer. Mazzotti is already bankrolling NDZ campaign. Asked about Mazzotti, NDZ is alleged to have dismissed the insinuation with. “…He hasn’t been convicted of anything….” CR 17 is himself under Marikana workers’ (AMCU) radar for spewing ‘concomitant’ nonsense at the Marikana Enquiry! Delegates’ choice at NASREC isn’t a simple one!

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