ANC's new policy nothing more than politics of the stomach

The battle between Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa factions has little to do with differing political ideals, it is all about who gets to control the public purse. / Kopano Tlape
The battle between Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa factions has little to do with differing political ideals, it is all about who gets to control the public purse. / Kopano Tlape

Gwede Mantashe was booed by the ANC's aborted provincial conference in KwaZulu-Natal. And the whole country was shocked.

There are many other cases of provincial or regional leaders of the ANC who leave party meetings running for their dear life.

At a recent regional conference in Mpumalanga, "comrades" literally shot each other, killing one of their own.

In North West, there are places where the provincial leadership cannot set foot. There is even a "revolutionary" council set up to deal with leaders of the very ANC members of the so-called revolution council are serving. These are but a few public cases of an organisation in disarray.

When a lower structure of a political party treats its senior leaders the way Mantashe was treated, you must know the party is a shadow of its former self.

There was a time before Polokwane when lower structures of the ANC used to be grateful for having been graced with the presence of the party's senior leadership. Today, senior leaders are a curse not a blessing.

The question is: what exactly are ANC "comrades" fighting over? Why do they shoot each other in Mpumalanga? Why do they murder each other in KwaZulu-Natal?

Listening carefully to various accounts of the ANC's chaotic events. You never get the sense that the factions fight because they have different political ideas.

The truth is there are no political differences. These people are fighting to control the public purse. They know that being an ANC leader is a stepping stone to a position of power in government.

Those who are murdering each other in KwaZulu-Natal do so because they hope the death of a candidate or councillor will open the way for the next in line. The slogan is: You die, I enter.

The rot is not at a regional level only; it has spread to the very top. Those who sit on the National Executive Committee are driven by the same logic. It is about eating.

The fight at Nasrec was not about lofty political ideas; it was about one group of "comrades" seeking to replace those who are eating.

South Africans must not be fooled into thinking that because Cyril Ramaphosa is rich, his group is not eating. When you control the public purse, you decide who gets which tender.

Ramaphosa's group is doing exactly that. They may appear like a decent bunch, but they will never give tenders to businessmen associated with the group they defeated at Nasrec.

That is what the fight in the ANC is about. It is not about competing visions for society. The so-called radical economic transformation had nothing to do with transformation; it was a looting scheme for the Guptas and those close to Jacob Zuma.

After nine years of Zuma's grand corruption in government, there is no evidence of radical economic transformation.

Even the so-called new dawn is nothing but a slogan meant to legitimise looting by another group.

Because Ramaphosa speaks polished English, people don't think his group can eat. The British looted South Africa for centuries while speaking more polished English than Ramaphosa's fake dialect.

Donating half his salary to charity is a smart gesture for Ramaphosa, but ordinary South Africans will never know all of Ramaphosa's complex network of companies that will get big tenders from the state.

Keep in mind that rich people don't steal peanuts. Moreover, they are able to process deals without it appearing as theft. In short, they can steal while we watch without us thinking that they are stealing.

Here is a painful truth: the ANC has become a looting instrument for hungry and greedy factions fighting to displace each other from accessing state resources. That is why positions in the party are now a matter of life and death. This truth must never be hidden.

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