Anarchists in ANC a great concern

People looting a shop in the Springfield Value Centre in Durban flee from a police officer on July 12 2021. The writer says anarchism in the ANC manifested itself through the recent looting of malls and burning of infrastructures in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal
People looting a shop in the Springfield Value Centre in Durban flee from a police officer on July 12 2021. The writer says anarchism in the ANC manifested itself through the recent looting of malls and burning of infrastructures in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The year 1994 represented a political victory for the ANC, and created great expectations of better governance and economic emancipation for the historically disempowered black majority.

These expectations were not without justification, as the organisation led one of the greatest moral campaigns of the 20th century.

With Nelson Mandela at its head, it had by 1994 become a global symbol of freedom and a dignified African universalism. It was the ANC that led SA to constitutional democracy after the appalling experience of colonialism and decades of apartheid.

While the ANC continues to speak in terms of the "tradition" of the organisation to explain the way it works, its intellectual trajectory today as well as its voice is different in important ways from the past. For a troubled decade now, deep divisions and discourse of anger have characterised internal ANC politics.

Of concern is the emergence of anarchists in the ranks of the ANC. The term "anarchy" comes from Greek, and essentially means "no ruler". In this philosophy there is such optimism about the individual that law, government and indeed all authority are seen not only as superfluous but as a threat to human freedom.

Thus, anarchists are people who reject all forms of government or coercive authority, all forms of hierarchy and domination. Anarchism manifests itself in the recent looting of malls and burning of infrastructures in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Not only is it illegal to destroy public property, but it causes fear, psychological damage and is antisocial. There can be no denial that if we fail to passably address this phenomenon, it will threaten the moral regeneration of our land.

Amos Motshine, email

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