ANC run-up to December: iLIVE
South Africa – a collaboration of power mongers, chequebook politicians and the corporate mainstream media in the run-up to the ANC Conference in December 2012.
In the run-up to the most important ANC conference in history, which will take place in December this year, South Africa’s ruling party has made its choice. Over the past two years this columnist repeatedly wrote that the ANC would make its choice in time. In fact, I always predicted that the incumbent president, Jacob Zuma, would make the race and receive a second term almost unopposed. Well, this is happening and the time is now and this writer is vindicated.
Those, who predicted that Zuma is a political corpse claiming, those, who analyse that he will get a second term, would follow him into the grave, are being proven wrong now.
If one followed South Africa’s corporate mainstream media across the spectrum, it could not go unnoticed that the campaign against Jacob Zuma and his leadership of the African National Congress is coordinated and intensifying on a daily basis. Even the little bishop, Desmond Tutu, entered the fray when he announced that he would pray for the downfall of the ANC and its government.
The fired former ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, who now leads the “Friends of the Youth League” with his inner circle, as well as the overt and covert support from senior ANC politicians, exploited the situation around the strikes of the mineworkers and transport workers against their employees. A new trade union was formed, the ‘Associated Mineworkers & Construction workers Union’, AMCU. And, Malema used this and every platform available to attack Zuma, calling him a “dictator”, “enemy”, shouting, “Phansi Zuma, Phansi” – “down with Zuma, down”.
Mischievous rightwing armchair political analysts and certain media organs market a national debate that “the ANC has failed, COSATU has failed, the SACP has failed and that South Africa is a failed state”, focusing on the shortcomings only. This actually means, “The black man has failed”.
The ruling ANC is an old and established liberation movement, tried and tested. It has established a non-racial and non-sexist democracy in South Africa with voting safeguards through an ombudsman, a ‘public protector’, a credible judiciary and a ‘freedom of information act’ in place. And, it is conservative, as all old and traditional organisations are.
The former freedom movement knows that it has to address some of the most vital issues such as land ownership and belonging; economic participation and mine co-ownership as well as building a manufacturing industry, adding value to the unprocessed mineral wealth of the country and on-the-job training.
Land ownership and agricultural development seem to be on top of the list. The ruling party plans to release a detailed programme with a plan-of-action to address particularly land ownership.
The owners of the hostile, predator-corporate economy seem to be the cause of major labour unrests. The ‘architects of apartheid’, masquerading as ‘captains of industry’ orchestrate a ‘dustbowl economy’ in order to eventually buy it out for a song. They work closely with those ANC senior members, who support fired, former ANCYL president Malema.
As it stands, over 65% of South Africans out of a population of 50,5 million, have to make ends meet on less than one United States Dollar per day.
But, in fairness, credit needs to be given where credit is due. For example, South Africa’s infrastructure compares favourably with most First World countries. Its airports, ports, national highways, its cities and hospitality industry are of world standard. Since the ANC took over government, the infrastructural development received a huge boost and with that many new jobs were created.
The above-mentioned developments, an accessible national education system, as well as the official programme of “affirmative action” for the private business sector have contributed to a growing indigenous black African middle class. It is one of the biggest on the African continent.
If the average citizen accepted the daily doses of misinformation from a range of hostile sources, including the media, it would have missed the realities. It would believe that deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe would be the next president and either Tokyo Sexwale, or Nskosazana Dlamini-Zuma his deputy president, Mathews Phosa a senior cabinet member and Julius Malema having an outside chance to return to the ANC at Mangaung.
But, this is not so. The tried and tested ‘bush telegraph’ and the whispers in the corridors seem to be better informed. They seemed to know that Zuma would get a second term, despite the daily media reportage to the contrary. They too know, that the attempt to sink Zuma, his leadership and government at Mangaung in December this year, will be fruitless, ending in tears for particularly Tokyo Sexwale, Paul Mashathile, Thandi Modise, Fikile Mbalula and Mathews Phosa. They have been described as “cheap, chequebook politicians with no future, who would sell the birthright of the liberated masses for a bowl of soup”. “Their ambitions and plans will end in tears”, a respected ANC NWC and NEC member told this columnist. “They will become lonely and bitter, as no one will know them after December 2012. They have no place in the ANC leadership. No other leader will associate with them.”
Those around Julius Malema fight for their own protection now, in order not to be exposed to investigations and eventually, the laws of the land. They cannot hide their despair, as they cannot deliver.
The largest ANC branches threw their weight and numbers behind the ANC president. Those include KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The Nelson Mandela Metropolis/Port Elizabeth, the Northern Cape Province, the provinces of Mpumalanga and the Freestate followed them in support of Zuma. Other provinces that could surprise the media and those, who are part of the campaign, “Anyone, but Zuma” possibly, are Limpopo and the Western Cape. But, this would be marginal. The Gauteng Province under the leadership of Paul Mashathile, a staunch political opponent of Jacob Zuma, has nominated Kgalema Motlanthe as their presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), the War Veterans (MKVA), Cosatu and the SACP have all thrown their weight behind Jacob Zuma. The attempts since 2002 to sink Zuma have not come to much. If anything, he has come out the stronger, while remaining quiet, but active.
By admission of president Jacob Zuma, “the ANC today is exposed to factionalism, disunity, infighting, bribery and corruption, leaks of disinformation and bulk-buying of membership cards and voters. Every attempt is being made to destroy the ANC from within.” Yet, be not surprised, if Jacob Zuma gets a second term of office in Mangaung almost unopposed.
- Udo W. Froese, independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.