Root of political crisis lies at ANC's door

12 February 2018 - 12:05
By Prince Mashele

Our beloved country, South Africa, has been subjected to an unnecessary political crisis - all because of the mess in the ANC.

For the first time since Nelson Mandela took office in 1994, the State of the Nation Address was postponed. How did it all happen?

The root of our crisis is the overwhelming power we have placed in the hands of one party.

When the ANC still had good leaders, it felt good. Now, the party has changed.

The ANC is led by a president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was never in exile, and, therefore, not respected by many in his party.

Having been to exile and Robben Island, Jacob Zuma does not understand why Ramaphosa thinks he can tell an exile veteran to leave the Union Buildings.

To Zuma, Ramaphosa is a young boy who does not know the ANC.

It is worse with the rest of the top six; Zuma sees them as boys who joined the ANC yesterday.

Hence, he did not hesitate to tell them he is going nowhere.

The real reason why Zuma does not want to go is his fear that Ramaphosa will not protect him from prosecution.

The so-called "constructive discussions" are not constructive at all. They are about assuring Zuma that he will not be hauled before courts the moment he leaves office.

Zuma is not a fool; he will not take a simple "yes" from Ramaphosa. He must have demanded a written agreement from Ramaphosa that he will do certain things, including retaining some of his key ministers in Ramaphosa's new cabinet.

Why would Zuma want "his" ministers in Ramaphosa's cabinet, and who are they?

For the past eight years, Zuma's strategy has been to appoint weak individuals into strategic positions, including cabinet. He entrusted his weakest ministers with the sordid responsibility to do his dirtiest work.

It is easy, therefore, to figure out who among Zuma's ministers he would like to see in Ramaphosa's cabinet. The first, and perhaps the most trusted, is David Mahlobo.

Like Zuma himself, Mahlobo is a spy trained by the Russians. Retaining such a man in Ramaphosa's cabinet would allow Zuma, and the Russians, to know everything going on in cabinet.

The other ministers Zuma would like Ramaphosa to keep are a band of thieves who have stolen money for Zuma and themselves. These include Bathabile Dlamini, who has been milking the social grant system through the private companies given the tender to distribute grants. That is why she fought very hard to prevent the Post Office from taking over the contract.

Another dodgy minister Zuma would like to see in Ramaphosa's cabinet is Nomvula Mokonyane, who financially collapsed the Department of Water Affairs. Evidence of Mokonyane and her "Ben 10" draining money from her department has been on the front pages of our national newspapers.

It is known that Zuma did not have a problem with a minister stealing money, as long as the thieving minister delivered a bag full of money to Nkandla.

An obvious minister Zuma would like Ramaphosa to keep is Mosebenzi Zwane, who did "good" work for Duduzane [Zuma] and the Guptas.

Malusi Gigaba has, of late, been sounding as if he has changed his tune, but he is firmly on Zuma's mind when imagining spies and problem-makers in Ramaphosa's cabinet. Remember, Gupta TV called him "Mr Clean" when he was appointed in the middle of the night.

The deal Zuma wants may also include a specific name in the position of head of the National Prosecuting Authority, the office that has kept Zuma out of jail.

Ramaphosa will not tell us the contents of his so-called "constructive discussions" with Zuma, but we know that Zuma will not go without certain guarantees.

What Ramaphosa and Zuma have been discussing has nothing to do with reducing poverty and unemployment in South Africa. It is the palace politics of fat cats trying to shuffle each other.

The problem is that we are all affected by the mess in the ANC. The important work of our institutions of governance has been disrupted, and unemployed South Africans have no hope.

Here is a simple truth: We are where we are because of the ANC's mess. To avoid this after 2019, we must be careful not to place too much power in the hands of one party. It is that easy.