I held off on this story during the day waiting for confirmation that Smuts Ngonyama was indeed going to join the breakaway party and he has. This new party is collecting some mighty big scalps.
Believe me when I tell you that this guy is a very big cahuna in SA politics.
This man was at the heart of the ANC and government workings for well over a decade and would have been privy to many intimate details that now would be very useful to Lekota and Shilowa.
Notice how cautiously the ANC has treated his resignation today versus the "dogs", "snakes", "scum" insults that followed when the other former ANC members left the party. That's because Smutsie has the dirt on many a big fish in the ANC and they would be incredibly stupid - beyond Julius Malema stupid - to piss this man off.
Heh heh. Game on!
Why I resigned from the ANC - Smuts Ngonyama
I've lost faith in ANC - Fatima Meer ANC stalwart Fatima Meer has come out in support of the breakaway Congress of the People.
'We represent the future' - Sam Shilowa
Ngonyama can’t cope with ‘disrespect’- Ngonyama said he was leaving because he “could no longer tolerate the general disrespect shown to offices of authority” by the current leadership.
ANC Takes a Hit from Departing Ex-Communications Chief
Zuma 'disagrees' with Smuts
Another ANC stalwart quits to join the rebels - Former Social Development MEC Sam Kwelita yesterday was described by the DA as a further blow to the ANC. Kwelita, who also , effectively, resigned as a member of the provincial Cabinet and Legislature, is to join the breakaway COPE.
Meer joins the Rebels
Smuts Ngonyama, former communications chief of South Africa's ruling African National Congress, quit the party today, joining several other senior officials who have formed a breakaway grouping.
"Ngonyama tendered his resignation to the ANC today,'' the party said in an e-mailed statement. "The ANC accepts and welcomes his resignation.'' (yeah, right)
Ngonyama, who did not immediately answer calls to his mobile phone, is due to address a COPE press conference later today.
"The ANC is hemorrhaging talent,'' Robert Schrire, a politics professor at the University of Cape Town told eTV.
"There is clearly a crisis in the making'' for the party.
The ANC, which has ruled since taking power under Nelson Mandela in all-race elections in 1994, won almost 70 percent of the vote in the last poll in 2004. Campaigning for the next elections, which must be held by July, is already in full swing.
The opposition says the ANC isn't doing enough to address poverty and unemployment and wants changes to the electoral laws to enable constituencies to directly elect members of the parliament.
"The majority of people are desperate for political change,'' said Patricia de Lille, leader of the Independent Democrats. "What we are witnessing is an end to complete dominance by the ANC of South African politics.''
The ANC could lose control of three of the country's nine provinces next year, said Sandra Botha, parliamentary leader of the Democratic Alliance.
"The ANC support is up for grabs,'' she said. The peaceful split in the ANC "is a wonderful sign of maturity in South African politics.''
Some opposition leaders even see the possibility of the ANC losing power in elections in 2014.
After the next elections, we will see the beginnings of a radically revised electoral map in this country,'' Bantu Holomisa, a former army general who leads the United Democratic Movement, said in a debate organized by the Center for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town yesterday. "By 2014, the ruling party will stand very certain chance of moving to the opposition benches.''