ANC will not deliver

Tiyani Mabasa

Tiyani Mabasa

The sacking of Thabo Mbeki has been worrisome to us and millions of South Africans, largely because it emanates from party political infighting rather than issues that directly affect all citizens.

Mbeki was president of the country and his conduct or lack of it, we believe, should be rightly judged by the people rather than a sectarian political party that is both responsible and culpable for the suffering of the overwhelming majority of our people.

Most people rightly view the infighting within the ANC as having nothing to do with quality service delivery but rather as a struggle solely to control all instruments and implements of government in order to perpetuate the same rot and corruption we have witnessed over the years.

The perceived failure of Mbeki cannot be viewed in isolation because it represents fully the failure of the the ruling party that has subordinated fully to market driven policies.

In that context, therefore, it does not matter whether it is Mbeki or ANC president Jacob Zuma who is in charge as long as they pursue the same policies.

Zuma has promised and committed to relentlessly pursue the same policies of his predecessors and therefore we know that our people will not get a break.

Many political analysts and commentators have tried to explain the phenomenon currently bedeviling the ANC and its allies.

The truth is that what is happening to the ruling party just magnifies the wisdom that has long said: "The crisis of humanity (read South Africa) is the crisis of a lack of a revolutionary leadership."

The past political leadership was generally perceived as a leadership of cronies, lackeys and sycophants with no distinct features of their own except those of their "leader".

In short, it was as a leadership that represented nothing substantial except a horde of people whose preoccupation was being in the good books of their leaders.

So far there have been no serious and in-depth debates on issues that should normally concern political parties; issues such as the continuing crippling poverty of the majority and, most particularly, black people.

The problem is not simply with Mbeki's leadership style but rather with the system under which he was president.

In a society such as ours everything is done to advance the interests of a class. A false notion is being created that this class is desirous of broadening its base but in reality nothing is further from he truth.

For as long as the country continues to pursue the course and economic framework they are on, things will not really get better but worse. After 14 years of democracy we can actually attest to that.

Today there are more poor, desperate and hopeless people, especially among the black majority.

It is quite unthinkable that a programme that favours the need and aspirations of the majority can be pursued under the present dispensation.

The words of slain martyr Steve Biko, leader and co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, still carry "a ring and sound" of a living voice when he said: "You cannot accept from your adversary the unloaded of two guns and then proceed to challenge him to a duel."

This is so true for those who expect delivery from a system that is premised on the private ownership of the means of production and its concomitant "sanctity" of private property.

Right from the outset the dice was loaded against workers and the poor because the system favours the generation of huge profits at their expense. Their aspirations count for nothing in the world controlled and dominated by market forces.

It is quite simplistic to expect a "democracy" based on the will of the people under capitalistic rule. Society's majority will never consciously vote for privatisation; they will not choose to condemn themselves to lives of unemployment, poverty and want.

The poor cannot support excruciating rations on water and electricity, they cannot be held responsible for their lack of efficient and adequate healthcare and education.

Democracy has always been class rule, where everything is done to serve the interest of the dominant class. In a capitalist society such as ours, we all know which class is dominant.

Mbeki was a very strong advocate for the building of a black middle class, which has become even richer.

He, for all his faults, needs to be acknowledged and commended for his efforts in finding a lasting solution for Zimbabwe and its people. In the process that might have earned him more powerful enemies, especially those aligned to Western imperialism.

He should be applauded for that and many of his endeavours in Africa, where he resisted total subordination to imperialism which became increasingly unhappy with him as they continue their search for pliable leaders in Africa.

Sopa believes there are lessons to be learned from Mbeki's saga.

lThe writer is president of Sopa