But uniting the party is no longer akin to serving the interests of the country or taking it forward, for the ANC has metamorphosed into something different, something alien, to the original canons and traditions of its founding fathers.
The aim was not only to free the country from oppression but to transform it and put it on a higher moral plane. What we have instead is something close to a nightmare.
Apartheid apologists are having a gleeful chuckle, their predictions and prejudices exonerated. We told you so: blacks can't rule. They're corrupt and incompetent. The ANC unfortunately is reinforcing such stereotypes.
So why, in the face of such crookedness and delinquency, is ANC support showing an increase? When Nelson Mandela took over and ran a government that was more competent and less corrupt than its National Party predecessor, it became a powerful riposte to the apartheid ideology. For many black people it was not only a vindication, but a liberation from such stereotypes. And by pursuing his policy of national reconciliation, Mandela was slaying another Nationalist dragon - that different races or ethnic groups cannot live or govern together.
But as the ANC degenerated and came under increasing attack for its malfeasance, it has tended to abandon its age-old policy of nonracialism and appeal solely to the base instincts of the African majority - competing on that score with the EFF on its left flank.
Some of its supporters, repelled by corruption, have been casting about for an alternative party to vote for. But they have found the opposition DA not appetising enough. The ANC's crude propaganda that the DA is a white party with a black face that would bring back apartheid has proved effective.