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Sat Dec 03 04:26:54 SAST 2016

Opinion: Nurturing factions will aggravate the ANC’s disease

NATASHA MARRIAN | 2016-08-11 10:03:23.0
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma arrives for the official announcement of the munincipal election results at the result centre in Pretoria, South Africa, August 6, 2016.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / REUTERS

Deflecting attention from President Jacob Zuma and the electorate’s brutal assessment of his leadership is likely to feature strongly at the ANC leadership meeting this weekend.

Already the blame is being shifted to the Gauteng leadership, but disbanding or dissolving the party’s provincial structure could simply speed up the demise of the organisation as a whole by cementing the party’s rejection by urban voters.

When the Gauteng leadership was dissolved in May 2000, it was due to irreconcilable differences between factions. This time, there are no such divisions. The repeated misdiagnosis of the malignant illness afflicting Africa’s oldest liberation movement continues to accelerate its demise and it looks set to commit the same error after its largest electoral decline.

Among these were Gauteng’s metros — Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni as well as Mogale City — and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape.

Before the 2014 election, internal research showed that the party would battle to hold on to Gauteng and may have to govern in a coalition. Again, ahead of the 2016 local government election, party polls warned of a similar fate, with Zuma’s missteps at the centre of the electorate’s unhappiness.

But the national leadership continued to ignore the signs and the research, instead "feeling in their hearts" that Gauteng voters remained enamoured with its deeply flawed president.

Read the full column on BDlive

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