Friday, July 25, 2008

ANC going the way of old Nat Party

To answer this question one first has to look at the some of the possible similarities. These might include:

* Legislation that favours a particular race group which just happens to be part of your constituency. This could include Job Reservation (NP) and Employment Equity (ANC)

* Packing the bureacracy with members of your own racial group

* Dislike of a critical media

* Intolerance of political opposition

* Awarding Government contracts on the basis of race

* Awarding Government contracts to politically connected parties.

* Political marginalisation of minorities (and majorities)

* Indifference to the plight of the poor

* Unhealthy symbiosis with big business

To the extent that these activities may or may not reflect the two politcal groupings then the ANC is going the way of the NP. Decide for yourself.

Of equal importance are two other factors:
1. The ANC has absorbed the rump of the old NP to the extent that a ministerial position devolved on the leader of the old NP. In the context of symbiosis this is of critical importance given that nationalist birds of a feather...

2. Beyond the question of similarities are the areas where the ANC has actually been worse than the old NP.

This is of far greater consequence than any similarities which may exist
. Areas where the ANC have been worse include issues such as border controls, ESKOM, roads, health care, water supplies, sewerage, race relations ( I am serious), ministerial accountability, bureaucratic efficiency, etc.

In my opinion it is not a case of “going” it is a case of “gone”

- - - - -

Helen Zille, the leader of the Democratic Alliance and mayor of Cape Town, said that the ANC is divided -- as the National Party once was -- between the "verligtes" and the "verkramptes".

At times, the National Party "seemed monolithic and invincible, destined to continue its oppressive rule into perpetuity", Zille said, in a lecture she gave at the Witwatersrand University Law School.

"Towards the end, it tried to pretend it was a united party, but in fact it was deeply divided between the 'verligtes' who wanted to reform apartheid and possibly even to end apartheid, and the 'verkramptes' who wanted to continue its cruel farce.

'Broedertwis' divided their ranks. "The ANC, after only 14 years, is showing the same schism. It is also divided between its verligtes, who support constitutional rule, and its verkramptes, who want to subordinate the Constitution to the pursuit of power.
Broedertwis has been replaced with comrade-twis.

" Zille told her audience that this is a time of peril, asking: "Did we in South Africa make the transition to constitutionalism too quickly to understand its significance? Will it therefore decline as quickly as it evolved? The signs are not encouraging.

"She drew attention again to remarks of Jacob Zuma that point to a fundamental disdain for the Constitution. "He has said openly that the ANC is more important than the Constitution and that 'once you begin to feel you are above the ANC, you are in trouble'," she said.

She added: "If Zuma is found guilty of corruption and given a sentence of more than 12 months, it will prevent his becoming the next president. His supporters are determined to remove this obstacle, by whatever means it takes, because for them the ends justify the means."

Zille pointed out that almost every liberation movement has gone the same way after attaining power. "The simple reason is this," she said. "Liberation struggles are about attaining power. Constitutional democracy is about limiting power.

Very few activists who have engaged in liberation struggles understand this distinction, and they therefore cannot make the transition to the next stage of development. "They equate their own power with the revolution. Anyone who limits their power is therefore counter-revolutionary. Of course, the opposite is in fact true.

As soon as most struggle heroes attain power, they tend to betray the values that motivated their liberation struggle in the first place, because they cannot come to terms with limiting their own power -- a precondition for constitutionalism."

She said that, despite painting a gloomy picture, she believes there are serious threats to our constitutional rule. "But I am not gloomy," she insisted. "In the very schisms and tumults of our politics, there is great hope."

The mayor said that politics in South Africa is already, largely unseen, going through a fundamental realignment, and this cuts right through the middle of the ANC. She added that she knows there are many constitutionalists in the ANC who have more in common with the DA than they do with the anti-constitutionalists in their own party.

Politics are redefining themselves around the Constitution. The fundamental divide in the ANC is over whether one supports the Constitution (even if one does not believe it is perfect) or whether one is prepared to push it aside if it obstructs one's path to power and personal advantage.

"Professor Kader Asmal of the ANC has recently published a declaration in defence of the Constitution and invited South Africans to sign it. I have done so. So have Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ronnie Kasrils, Mosiuoa Lekota and Ben Turok," she said.

"We have to bring party formations in line with the new reality, the real political divisions of our time. The biggest barrier to this process is the democrats in the ANC who believe their party is redeemable. It is not."

Zille claimed that among the turbulence and clamour in the ANC now -- amid the purging of provincial premiers, the thinly veiled menaces to the judiciary and the growling of unscrupulous men hungry for power -- there is unprecedented opportunity to reshape the politics of South Africa for the better.

"There is a chance to break up the present rather sterile party alignments," she said, "and replace them with parties that represent issues and ideas rather than races or traditions."

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

When will we learn from our mistakes?