By Pinky Khoabane
The damp-squib that turned-out to be the meeting between the ANC and so-called veterans is yet another lesson for the regime-change agents that only the ANC branches will determine the fate of the person they put in charge to lead and manage the issues of the ANC.
Damp-squib for those naïve enough to think a group of veterans who hardly know the doors to their branches these days would overturn the will of the millions who voted for the ANC and President Jacob Zuma in particular, in the last national elections. With warts and all, Zuma was elected by the majority in the last national elections. Many would like to argue that voters voted for the ANC and not the candidate but the truth is that he was given a second term with full knowledge that he was the candidate. At the time of going into elections, Zuma was facing Nkandla and a host of other legal battles.
Many look to the recent local government elections for indications of how fed-up the ANC faithful are with the ANC. The results are clear. ANC needs a new crop of cadre that is in touch with the people. A cadre who will work for the people and not one who sees a position in the ANC as a means of advancing their own personal interest. The big question is whether such a cadre exists in a climate where business influence dictates politics – not just here but around the world.
You only have to go back to the economic policies adopted by the ANC to see the influence of global financial markets and how BEE has turned comrades against their people – some still remember to come and sing and dance with the people but their interests lie in their BEE shares which are just debt and a liability. But they also appease their “handlers” and must ensure policies which sustain white economic privilege with the hope that the crumbs falling off their tables are enough to live a tenth of their masters’ lifestyles. These veterans are in their cushy houses in the suburbs and speaking for the people. They may have gone to war for the people but they now represent the enemy for which the people died.
Since liberation, Comrades have sat from across the table with their oppressors and devised policies which undercut the majority with whom they had fought side-by-side.
The other lesson for the public is that the wishes of the neo-liberal media for regime change no matter how loud, do not represent the masses of the people. We should forever be mindful of the media’s constituency and that Twitter and Facebook do not make up the majority of ANC membership.
As we’ve seen through the Trump win and the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (otherwise known as Brexit), the liberal media was way out of touch with the people on the ground. South Africa’s media has always been completely out of touch with the public because it thinks the middle class on social media represent the black majority. It seemingly is the case with the veterans and all the formations that have emerged in recent months as part of a campaign to get rid of Zuma.
One of the most interesting events of the regime change campaign is ANC Gauteng Chairman Paul Mashatile’s presence at one of the Save SA events. This is a man who led a province that has given power to the oppressor in two critical metros. What power does he have? If we were to use his campaign to oust the president, we should be asking for him to vacate the seat first. But we respect the mandate given him. He and other Comrades, buoyed by the spectre of the media and in the company of neo-liberals want to overturn the will of the people.
To the regime change agents who are ANC members I say humbly, go work in your branches and mobilise your comrades to overturn their mandate of 2014. The ANC doesn’t have branches on Twitter, Facebook or eNCA and other neo-liberal and commercial media.