ANC keeps on shooting itself in the foot

The swearing-in of former eThekwini metro mayor Zandile Gumede as a MPL in the KZN legislature represents a new low for the ruling party.
The swearing-in of former eThekwini metro mayor Zandile Gumede as a MPL in the KZN legislature represents a new low for the ruling party.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

Jacob Zuma used to be referred to as a gift that kept on giving to parliamentary opposition parties during his reign as president of the Republic of South Africa.

This was due to the fact that his frequent scandals made it easy for opposition parties to lampoon him and lay the blame squarely at the door of the ANC for the disaster that he was. For its part, the ANC closed ranks in defence of its cadre, even going to the extent of defending the indefensible.

Zuma’s tenure as president coincided with the institutionalisation of corruption in the ANC. When he was finally shown the door through a recall by his party several months before the end of his two-term presidency, the damage had been done.

For South Africans to have expected a change in political fortunes with the ANC still in power was the height of folly. The“New Dawn”promised by Cyril Ramaphosa after his ascendance to the highest office in the land was a mirage. To have expected him to marshal a fractured ANC to renewal was expecting too much as the Zuma error had ensured the hollowing out of state institutions necessary in the fight against malfeasance.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) charged with the responsibility of prosecuting perpetrators of crime without fear, favour or prejudice, has not moved an inch in the face of revelations of criminal activity coming out of the Zondo commission. It is tempting to regard the NPA as having been emasculated. With Zuma out of the picture as a gift for the opposition, the ANC has assumed that mantle with alacrity.

The looting spree by ANC cadres in the middle of a pandemic serves to remove any doubt that the ANC is beyond redemption. The swearing-in of former eThekwini metro mayor Zandile Gumede as a MPL in the KZN legislature represents a new low for the ruling party. Gumede was sworn in despite facing charges of fraud and corruption for using her position to influence tenders worth R430m at Durban Solid Waste (DSW).

She is out on R50,000 bail and is scheduled to reappear in court in September. The ANC has once again resorted to its tried and tested mantra of innocent until proven guilty. ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela is reported as saying,“As a firm believer in women empowerment, the ANC KZN is confident that cde Gumede, with her experience, is a worthwhile addition to the legislature.”With the ANC embroiled in myriad allegations of wrong doing it is clear her experience and expertise in graft will be a worthwhile addition indeed.

Gumede’s spokesperson and supporters’representative also added his voice to the controversy by stating that, “We believe it is along overdue employment. We are quite convinced she will shine wherever she goes.” She will certainly shine within the rogues’ gallery the ANC has become.

It seems the ANC has chosen to play tone deaf to the public outcry over its involvement in malfeasance. Its actions seem like the last kicks of a dying horse.It is clear Ramaphosa has lost control over the party and that the faction opposed to him is intensifying its push back spearheaded by secretary-general Ace Magashule.

The reinstatement of Danny Msiza and Florence Radzilani to their positions despite the VBS Mutual Bank looting cloud hanging over their heads should be seen through this prism. The ANC seems to have lost any shame or care and what matters to it are only its factional battles. With the internecine warfare taking place within the organisation, it is only a matter of time before the ANC implodes. Whether this implosion and it stoppling will coincide with the“second coming”as once predicted by one Jacob Zuma, is yet to be seen. One is reminded of the words of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

■Lee is a Sowetan reader

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