Time to strengthen government

DR E V Rapiti, Kenwyn

An organisation is as good as the people running it. This was made quite evident in the recent elections, where the ANC, once the darling of the nation, got quite a drubbing at the polls.

The party has done so badly that it has been forced to negotiate with its arch nemesis, Julius Malema of the EFF, who made it clear that his party will only negotiate with the ANC if the president is dismissed.

In one municipality, the ANC was so desperate to secure control that they offered the mayor’s post to a candidate who won just one seat.

A number of political analysts and opinion surveys came to one conclusion that is: the main cause for the ANC’s decline lies squarely on the shoulders of the president.

Many in the ANC, as well in the tripartite alliance, recognise this fact but are too afraid or too steeped in mud themselves to come out in public to admit it, fearing that they will be dismissed from their cushy jobs.

They wouldn’t want to be subjected to the same fate of the previous finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, or the present minister of finance, Pravin Gordon, neither of whom were willing to suck up to the president and sanction ridiculous requests from SAA’s CEO Dudu Myeni to purchase expensive aircraft or to support the unaffordable costly nuclear power deal with Russia when we have sufficient environmentally safe and sustainable alternative power from wind and solar energy.

In spite of the overwhelming evidence that Zuma’s reprehensible leader-ship was the cause for the party’s dismal performance, the syco-phantic leadership, ran to their master’s rescue and went on a diatribe of blaming factional infighting, corruption and poor service delivery for the party’s poor performance.

Even the lacklustre president of Cosatu, Sdumo Dlamini, who is strangely also a member of the NEC, accused the ANC of not listening to its electorate.

If he was in his right senses, he would realise that he and the rest of the members in the NEC have to take collective responsibility for the party’s failure and resign with the president.

The president treated the country like his personal fiefdom, where he ran the country according to his own set of laws, with the help of the disgraced Gupta family at the helm.

After he wasted millions or rands of tax payers’ money on legal fees to avoid paying for unnecessary upgrades to his homestead, he finally conceded that he was wrong, when the Constitutional Court found him guilty of violating the constitution for not abiding by the recommendations of the public protector.

The blatant violation of a country’s constitution by a president should be sufficient grounds for impeachment in a democratic country, but in South Africa, such a law does not exist.

The ANC is a huge party that enjoyed the respect of the majority in this country when it came into power under Nelson Mandela.

Under his rule, the intellectuals in the party gave us one of the best constitutions in the world with regards to human rights and justice. We were the envy of the rest of the free world for our successful and peaceful transition.

Unfortunately, after Madiba’s departure, the party has fallen into total disrepute, at home and abroad.

The leadership of the ANC lost its moral compass when Zuma was chosen as leader in spite of him having a list of corruption charges against him.

During his reign as president, hardly a month has passed without our president or officials of his party being accused of corrupt practices.

Zuma sowed the seeds for the cancer of corruption, while his lieutenants, in the NEC, looked the other way or participated in the corruption.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s reassurance that the party is determined to rid the party of corruption is nothing more than rhetorical rubbish.

The simple answer is for the ANC to revisit their modus operandi when it comes to appointing people to public positions.

Anyone who wishes to apply for a post in government has to be educated, morally irreproachable and not have a criminal record.

Anyone guilty of corruption must be dismissed and banned for life from public office.

Right now, getting rid of the ANC is not the ideal answer but getting rid of the rot in the party is what is required.

We need people of the calibre of the late Madiba, Kader Asmal, Dullah Omar and Beyers Naudé as well as Barbara Hogan to run the party.

We have many highly educated people, without struggle credentials, who can match these great stalwarts of the past; they must be given a chance.

Too many of these politicians are being drawn into insignificant parties because the ANC has no place for them. Lindiwe Mazibuko is one of them.

If we had a strong party with an honest leader, then we can make this one of the greatest countries to live in. Having 70 tiny parties is a formula for chaos and corruption: a lot of hot air and no action.