If there was any doubt that President Jacob Zuma still runs the show within the ANC, the lack of developments in the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting should clarify the matter once and for all.
Expectations were rife that the NEC meeting, held over the weekend, would recall Zuma. I wasn’t convinced that such would materialise. This is not only because Zuma had his ducks lined up in terms of rallying support from his allies from within the party, but also because there has not been any significant change regarding his position within the party since the previous attempt to oust him in December 2016.
The latest attempt to oust Zuma through the NEC seems to have relied excessively on latest developments such as Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, as well as the increasing scandals relating to his relationship with the Guptas. Those issues, including the scandals, will never amount to sufficient grounds for Zuma to step down.
As Zuma’s allies see his survival as essential to contribute to their political fortunes, he will receive the necessary support to see him through to the end of his term – or at least to leave office graciously after securing favourable results in the party’s elective conference to be held in December.
One then has to ask what is the purpose of staging motions of no confidence in Zuma within the party when it is clear that he still has support. Well, for desperate individuals in the party who could still see right from wrong, such attempts are a worthy cause; it’s a way through which those ANC members can cleanse their souls and then say “we tried”.
Despite the fact that there are reasonable people in the ANC who would like to see the Zuma saga disappear, it is becoming increasingly nonsensical to keep saying there are “great people within the organisation”.
The reality is that the ANC as a party is in paralysis and it has no recourse against Zuma, who is becoming even more daring in his projects to secure maximum benefit for his family and their Gupta friends from state resources.
All ANC members are to blame because it is the party that has completely lost touch with the reality.
The situation within the ANC is nasty and brutish, with the party divided into five factions to fill up all working days of the week. Each and every day of the week there is a different version of the ANC speaking on the state of the party.
This is embarrassing for the ANC stalwarts who are also weary of being seen as accomplices to all gone wrong from within the party. It is because of this level of desperation that it is now up to the opposition parties to rescue the ANC from itself with a motion of no confidence against Zuma in Parliament.
Although ANC members are enticed by this idea of voting with the opposition in Parliament, they are concerned about the fact that they may not be fully in control of what happens if Zuma is booted out through an opposition led motion. There has as of yet not been demonstrable cooperation between the ANC and the opposition to commit to a single goal.
With the ANC divided and the ANC Youth League behaving like Gestapo police threatening those ANC MPs who might vote with the opposition, the whole things is likely to be written off as the tower of Babel; a great misunderstanding with no real impact on Zuma’s political life as we know it.
– Ralph Mathekga