IT IS rather worrying that the debate within the ANC tripartite alliance over the nationalisation of the country's mines is fast developing into a public farce.
Calling the current wrangling over the issue between Mining Minister Susan Shabangu and the ANC Youth League leaders "a debate" is a grave injustice to the word. This, judging how the current exchange over the issue is punctuated by personal attacks of whoever appears to hold different views from Cosatu or the ANC Youth League .
Not only have the ANC young lions resorted to playing the man instead of the ball, calling into question the Minister's competence to translate the party's policies, but just about shouted her down on Tuesday when she challenged them.
The tirade against the Minister followed her announcement on Tuesday that nationalisation of mines would not happen in a lifetime.
Most disturbing is the apparent failure of President Jacob Zuma and the rest of the ANC leadership to instantly come into Shabangu's defence.
An impression might soon be created among international and local investors that the Government was in fact hunting with the hounds and running with hares, hence its failure to show decisive leadership on the issue.
Amid the cacophony of noises and growing restlessness from its partners, both Zuma and the ANC can no longer fudge their responsibility to show leadership on this contentious matter. Deafening silence on their part will not make the matter disappear or ameliorate its allies.