South Africa and the Terrible Tragedy of the ANC

President  Jacob Zuma [pictured left] is not a fool. He makes gaffes every  week and has no idea what constitutionality means.  But he is not a fool.

He might not read –  as has been alleged – but that does not mean he  does not know what levers have to be cranked to  ensure that he never gets inside a  court.

Since he became the president of the  ANC in 2007, he has overseen the most concerted  and successful assault on the country’s  independent institutions.

The judiciary is  today facing a major crisis of confidence because  of cases involving him at the Constitutional  Court.

The minute he won the ANC presidency  in Polokwane, the Scorpions – which had been  investigating him – were disbanded. It was quick,  cruel and ruthless.

Over the past few  months it has been the public protector’s turn. In  that time, we have witnessed concerted and  coordinated attacks from parliament, the executive  and various wings of the ANC on the office led by  possibly the most admired “public servant” in the  nation today – Thuli Madonsela.

This past  week we had the extraordinary sight of our  security cluster – which has over the past few  weeks made fools of themselves saying all kinds of  nonsense about Madonsela – turning on the populace  and declaring that publication of pictures of the  taxpayer-funded Nkandla monstrosity were illegal  and that the full might of the law would come down  on those who dared to do so. All this for one man:  Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.

The man is not a  fool. He has managed to get Africa’s oldest  liberation movement to become a tool for his  protection.

Whatever he does – whether it  is his friends the Guptas landing their planes at  military key points with impunity or a hideous  compound being built for him for R208-million, the  man has got the party rushing to do his  bidding.

And so one has to ask: Which ANC  is this?

How can an organisation that  refused to have a personality cult built around  Nelson Mandela allow itself to become a mere tool  in the hands of Zuma? How can its leaders cast  aside the party’s historical mission – to  transform the lives of millions of poor black  people and build a united, non-racial, prosperous  and democratic country – to simply become gophers  for Zuma?

Yet that is what the party’s  86-member national executive committee has  become.

ANC MPs are now introducing  legislation that is aimed solely at protecting  this one man.

Across the land, provincial  party leaders hobble state machinery merely to  protect and keep this one compromised leader out  of jail and in power.

It is an incredible  sight.

Once proud leaders who served our  nation in exile, in the United Democratic Front  and in trade unions now scrape and bow before one  man.

The ANC no longer has leaders. It has  zombies who mindlessly follow this one leader and  do his bidding.

It is quite  extraordinary.

What has happened to the  culture of debate and contestation that once  permeated this movement?

What happened to  the pride that made this once great organisation  stand up and expel people who muddied its  name?

How can this lot walk in the shoes of  Albert Luthuli, AP Mda, Anton Lembede, Pixley  kaIsaka Seme?

So, as we look at the  extraordinary lengths that the current ANC  “leadership” has gone to defend an embarrassment  of a leader whose entire family seems to be  infused by a shocking culture of entitlement –  Zuma’s brother, Michael, last week admitted using  his name to swing tenders to his benefactors – we  have to ask: Where is the ANC?

The answer  is heartbreaking: The ANC is compromised; it is  lost.

It has lost its moral compass and its  leadership of society.

The man at its head  is a reflection of what the party is:  ill-disciplined, compromised and  unprincipled.

The desperation one sees  among the ANC’s leaders is a reflection of this.  When a man as widely admired as Cyril Ramaphosa  has no other argument to convince a voter to still  support the ANC than “the Boers will return”, then  you know that this is a movement that is both  intellectually and morally bankrupt. The emperor  and his lieutenants have no clothes.

And so  we will remember the reign of Zuma. We will  remember it not for its achievements but for the  cowardice, callowness and bankruptcy of the  leadership that he brought with him. We will  remember his lackeys for their bowing and scraping  and their destruction of the continent’s greatest  liberation movement.

What an ignominious  end for the party of  Mandela.

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Note by Anthony Bellchambers: If  you want to make more people aware of how our  country is being undermined by one man’s personal  greed and, in the hope of stopping this runaway  train,  encourage  people to be part of  finding a solution, please forward the above  article to all your friends, family and  associates. Thank  you.

Articles by: Justice Malala

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