ANC has no one to blame but itself

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By: Luthando Brukwe

 Looking at the outcomes of the recent Local Government Elections, I think they were fascinating for political analysts, historical for those who record the history of liberation movements, victorious for the previously advantaged (as the prospect of 25 years to return back to the status quo), shattering for us normal ANC members (as we seem to be the only ones who understand the ramifications of these results).
The local election results have left our leadership in an even worse state of paralysis. I say this because over the years we (In the ANC) have developed a character of not only suppressing dissenting views but we alienate and throw those members in the wilderness.
Make no mistake, this excludes Julius Malema and his crew. Even today I support their principled expulsion. I’m here referring to membership gate keeping, were members of the ANC forms are destroyed so that their right to participate in constitutional structures is limited. The metamorphosis from a democratic organisation to one of patronage and one in which individuals are worshipped is real and of great concern.
The party or the organisational structures have been left paralysed as a result and are unable to take corrective measures against any incumbent.
Many poignant examples come to the fore.
The failure to implement the ANC 53rd Conference resolution of developing a moral cadre under the stewardship of Cde Mkhuluwa Kgalema Motlanthe and the disjuncture between our branch delegates, their branches and society have come to haunt the ANC.
ANC branches are supposed to be a reflection of society, thus our views should be representing the views of our people. This is however not the case.
I raise these not from a third person narrative, but from a first-hand account of the reasons that have led to the problems noted above.
We often think the solution to rectifying problems within the ANC is by withdrawing from participating in our branches but reality has slapped us in the face. We need drastic actions to change the status quo. These are not exhaustive challenges, as there are issues of branch elections, campaigns, unemployment, e-tolls, access to higher education, factionalism, Nkandla, court judgements and economic transformation amongst many other things.
I also support the narrative that goes against the individualisation of these challenges and blaming it on the President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma alone. He shoulders some of the blame but the Top 6, National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive (NEC) failed us dismally. So too did the Provincial Executive Committees (PECs) and the Regional Executive Committees (RECs) which harboured factionalism and purged dissenting voices. Lastly branches and ANC members have failed to promote the participation of society in the structures of the ANC. They too must take the blame.
While our responsibility in the outcome of the elections may vary, we the ANC faithful must ultimately accept, we played a part in the demise that faces us today. We are all equally to blame. As we look to 2019, we must begin to work on regaining the trust of our people through tangible implementation of ANC progressive programmes.

 Luthando Brukwe is an ANC member in good standing

1 Comment on "ANC has no one to blame but itself"

  1. Well, well, how many of your calibre are there, Luthando? And why do we outsiders hear so little of you?
    I totally agree with the headline, the ANC can blame only itself for the situation the organisation is in. I cannot and will not argue with the reasons you mention. I take it you know better than anybody outside the ANC – better than those who often, oh so elloquently, seem to know what’s going on in that organisation.
    However, as an outsider but still a supporter of the ANC since the times of the anti-apartheid movement, allow me to reflect a few thoughts.
    The historical compromise or “deal” struck in the early 1990s with the apartheid government under the auspices of national and international big business was necessary at the time. But, 20 years on, this compromise doesn’t seem to hold water anymore. South Africa remains a capitalist class society, despite the fact that all the racist laws of colonial and apartheid times have been thrown into the rubbish bin of history and the principles of non-racialism, non-sexism as well as a universal bill of human rights have been enshrined in the constitution.
    The capitalist class society is still alive and kicking. And that is why we have to analyse and talk about class contradictions, class struggle.
    Since the demise of the socialist block this way of thinking fell into a deep sleep. Also inside the ANC. Instead the idea and policy of “class collaboration” aka “social partnership” (the sugar coated name for it) is prevailing in the leadership. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    Class struggle is inevitable as long as there is one class of people economically exploiting and oppressing another. And this struggle is taking place inside the ANC itself for the simple reason that the ANC tries to embrace all classes.
    However, the DA is, by self definition, the better advocate of the capitalist so called “free” market economy – privatisation, deregulation, more market, less state. The DA is the party of the well-to-do in society and free of all ties with the working class, especially the trade unions. They are therefore the better option for bis business.
    By trying to compete on this field – wanting to be accepted as member of the old boys club of the rich, as it were, instead of breaking up the club and forming a new one – the ANC over time nurtured all these ugly things we talk about now: corruption, policy of patronage, cronyism etc. etc.
    Shouldn’t the ANC go back to its roots, the working class base? Instead of jeopardising its once winning partnership with the working class/trade unions? For example, I think, the expulsion of NUMSA from COSATU and the alienation of other unions was a fundamental error that will now bite the ANC for a long time to come.

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