The withering assessment of the current sorry state of the ANC by Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha on Friday is not something to write home about.
It is something that many political observers, including many credible ANC leaders and party sympathisers, have been saying since the rot started creeping into the movement that once embodied the aspirations of the majority of the people of South Africa.
It is no longer enough for ANC leaders such as Mathabatha, Cyril Ramaphosa, Thabo Mbeki, and many others who define themselves as anti-corruption crusaders to simply decry the state of decay within their party without providing decisive solutions to the problems that are rapidly eating away at the soul of the governing party.
Ordinary people in general, and voters in particular, are no longer moved by the constant bemoaning by party leaders of the ANC degeneration, personality cults, and the need for renewal when there are no visible and concrete political steps and definitive measures to eliminate the decay and implement the much-talked-about restoration of the party’s values.
The ongoing regional and provincial conferences taking place across the country are not about self-correction and the attainment of party renewal. They are more about the scramble for power between the two factions that have turned these gatherings into more political “beauty” contests than fundamental policy debates.
ANC conferences used to be platforms for robust organisational debates and culture. That was the time when ANC delegates would attend conferences to debate policy positions contained in rigorous discussion documents. That time is long gone.
The current ANC is merely a shadow of its former self.
The ANC must face the bitter reality that there are no longer any prospects that its warring factions will ever unite. They are fundamentally at the opposite ends of the ANC political spectrum. This has made any prospects for unity non-existent.
There is no prospect of the ANC making peace with itself. It is no longer possible that the slide within the party will ever be reversed under the current
party-political wars. The ANC has long liquidated itself in the eyes of ordinary South Africans.
Mathabatha is correct that the ANC has turned itself into an enemy of the people, where becoming a party representative is seen as almost equal to self-enrichment, careerism and factionalism associated while the people who matter most remain in the grip of poverty.
We have said it before that the ANC cannot self-correct and achieve so-called renewal if both factions don’t agree to go their separate ways.
This is the reality the party bosses are failing to confront head-on.
Separation would allow both factions to build from scratch. This would surely allow those who are still ANC sympathisers to choose which of the two is better suited to their political aspirations. The EFF did it. Why can’t they do it?
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