Sanity is balm for barbarity

The much-awaited ANC conference finally gets under way on Sunday.

The much-awaited ANC conference finally gets under way on Sunday.

The occasion will mark the culmination of months, even years, of intense jockeying for positions that has left many decades-long friendships in tatters.

Of major concern is that the power contest is not necessarily motivated by altruism.

So fierce is competition for the top job between Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma that it has laid bare the divisions and factionalism many hitherto never imagined possible in the ranks of Africa's oldest liberation movement.

The nation has witnessed shameful displays of contempt for the rights of others.

Meetings have been disrupted, blows exchanged and lives threatened in scenes reminiscent of the intense political violence of the 1980s.

The protagonists in the ANC's internecine battle even thought nothing of squabbling at funeral and memorial services for their own dead.

Shameful, indeed.

Thankfully, nobody is known to have died in what is perhaps the lowest moment in the history of the governing party.

A lot hinges on the Limpopo conference, which is one of the party's most important.

The delegates carry the future of their party and our country in their hands.

It is for this reason that we hope peace and sanity will prevail so that delegates can freely choose leaders they feel would be best suited to lead the nation to prosperity.