I thought that I should give my two cents’ worth concerning the recent developments in our country. To put it bluntly: I am disappointed with the new ANC leadership.
On Saturday the National Executive Committee (NEC) took a decision to relieve the President of his duties. Well, they actually said that they are "re-calling him from his deployment". In layman’s terms that is like Donald Trump saying, "You Are Fired".
On Sunday, President Mbeki handed in his resignation to the Speaker of Parliament.
I, for one, do not have an issue with the resignation of Mr Mbeki as President of the Republic. Such things have been known to happen in democracies much older than our own. Just think about Britain where recently Tony Blair was a victim of such political moves or the musical chairs session that we see in Israel.
The recalling of the President is a huge victory for the ANC president. At last, he has full and complete power in this battle of the two ANC factions.
To be fair though; it was reported that JZ did not want Mbeki recalled, as he believed that Mbeki should complete his term of office.
So far, so good.
Now, the issue I have with all this is the manner in and speed with which everything was carried out. Some of us already suspected in December 07 that the “new” ANC would get rid of Mbeki. But such fears were allayed when the “new” ANC said that it would keep Mbeki as the Republic’s President until the next general election.
Despite the tense working relationship between the ANC and government, it looked like things were going as planned. That is until that juvenile delinquent aka Julius Malema started spewing his drivel. I am not being mean; that kid has not said a single kind or coherent word about anything.
Malema, has made a number of dangerous statements this year from "we will kill for Zuma" to "Mbeki must go". I do not wish to demean my article with repeat references to his other infamous statements.
When Julius made these pronouncements against the President no one in the ANC took a serious stand to say that the “new” ANC has allowed Mbeki to remain in power.
I guess what really stoked the fire was Judge Nicholson's judgment. The “new” ANC was so happy that they celebrated right there in Pietermaritzburg. I am sure the concert was organised and paid for by the "friend of JZ" or worse yet by the ANCYL. Malema literally asked for the President’s head on a platter and well the result is what we witnessed on Sunday evening.
I am not at all saying that Mbeki was a fair President or that he did not use state resources to settle scores with others.
My issue goes to how the current ANC leadership has portrayed itself. It desires to be seen as above common conflicts, and its mantra has been unity! Unity! But these very same leaders remained quiet when Malema said insulting things against Mbeki and the judiciary.
How could grown men send a little kid to go to war on their behalf? Was this the biblical narrative of David and Goliath playing out in SA politics? I somehow doubt it
I believe Malema was sent out as an attack dog. He was told to bark at everyone who dared walk past the JZ property. Frankly, the language he has used against the President, judges, and everyone else who questioned the “new” ANC’s motives has been quite despicable and insulting.
Even when Mr Motlanthe, vice president of the “new” ANC, tried to reprimand Malema for his stinging attacks, Motlhanthe was publicly attacked and told that he could no longer rebuke the ANCYL in public.
But, the YL could do all their chaos in PUBLIC.
The audacious response of the Secretary General of the “new” ANC, Gwede Mantashe, was that “we will now have "dynamic engagement" with the ANCYL” whenever they say something untoward. Sheesh, I really wonder what that means.
What the “new” ANC has really taught people is that if you want to aspire to greatness insult and insult those who are in authority. You can see this attitude in places like Khutsong and other townships where people have been burning and pillaging so that they can get their own way. Basically, these people intimidate their communities in order to get what they want.
What is most disappointing with the “new” ANC leadership is the way that it continues to say one thing and do another. I really hope that the ANC has Malema and his likes on some leash, because if it does not, it might just soon regret unleashing him. What happened to “he might turn on his owners and bite them”?
Finally, I am not bitter about a JZ led ANC; on the contrary, it is "democracy" at work. I am however wary, of leaders who use other people to do their dirty work while denying that they are doing anything wrong and claiming that they are a new breed of leadership. The big question is, were the ANC leaders so afraid to take responsibility and say to Mbeki "thank you sir for your service, but no thank you" ?
The “new” ANC accused Mbeki of using others (state and media) to attack and vilify his opponents. Seems to me that the new masters, are reading from the same old play book.
The more things change, the more they stay the same