OPINION: ANC seeing secret plots everywhere
Siege mentality has spread through the ANC. The factional divisions and public agitation against the leadership of the party are making some of them see ghosts and monsters everywhere.
Enemies abound and attacks are coming from every direction. Now even school children are part of a conspiracy to subvert and ultimately destroy the ANC.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, an ANC presidential hopeful, alleged that Model C schools are teaching pupils that the ANC is corrupt.
That implies that school teachers all over the country are training up an army against the ANC-led government.
It is true that teachers exercise enormous power and discretion in classes. But the curriculum is not decided at school level but by the basic education department at national level. Her allegation therefore implicates fellow national executive committee member and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Dlamini-Zuma is wittingly or unwittingly implying the minister is also part of a conspiracy to undermine the government she serves in.
It was already laughable to hear ministers of police and state security alleging there is a third force behind civil society activism.
Dlamini-Zuma extended her critique to Wits University, saying that students are not allowed to refer to SA as a democracy.
This is patronising. Students have demonstrated their ability to think independently and present a critique of SA's sociopolitical and economic structure and environment. The student activism we witnessed at universities across the country was initiated and driven by students. Young people did not rise up because they were under some spell cast by lecturers plotting a coup against the ANC.
Young people are not blind to what is going on in society. They are not devoid of the intellect and knowledge that would enable them to evaluate the government's performance and come to their own conclusion.
It is very easy to blame other people for one's own failings, to look outside oneself rather than internally for reasons why things are not going your way. This is exactly what Dlamini-Zuma and the ANC are doing. And this confirms that any hope for self-correction is diminishing by the day. Instead of using this moment as an opportunity for reflection and introspection, the ANC is like a wounded animal attacking even those interventions that would be for its survival.
When civil society is rising up, the ANC should stop and listen. It is then they may realise not everything is about them but about the wellbeing and future of our country.