Keabetswe Shilakwe | 12 January 2017
Self-interests make it impossible for ANC to redeem itself.
These are words spoken by political analyst, head of the Institute of African Renaissance Studies at UNISA and professor, Lesiba Teffo, in light of President Jacob Zuma delivering his speech on the 8th of January.
The professor has emphasized the party’s lack of unity and says through this action, ANC, which is celebrating its 105th birthday as a political party, will continue to lose face in the eyes of South Africans. The professor says there was nothing new in the president’s succession debate that would inspire the people.
“Once you assume the mantles of power, you should discard the red label ‘liberation movement’ and become a modern political power and I think that’s what we’re struggling with.”
Prof. Teffo says ANC needs to regroup themselves and come up with solutions together. He highlights some of the key points in the speech that have not been met for example the stalwarts. He also speaks about unity and how, 18 years ago, the ruling party could fill up two stadiums for one occasion and yet in recent times, they have to hire buses in order to fill a small stadium. This is in comparison to the ANC’s biggest rivals, the DA and the EFF, who, as Prof. Teffo states, do not need to hire any vehicle to get people to come to their functions.
“…And indeed, if you look back, things have been getting worse from 2007 to date; yet the word unity, unity, unity is what is being punted. And then you say yes, if they unify, they can redeem themselves. Indeed, they can self-correct.”
Professor Teffo says ANC has to believe in something and not someone in order to work as a party because they are relying too heavily on Jacob Zuma as an individual and not in each other as a cause.
The professor says digression in the party’s progress is due to factions and divisions within the party itself. He says the electorate process must be changed in order for South Africa to choose someone according to their credentials and not according to colour or creed. In that way, the country will have someone who will serve it and not his or her own interests.
It is clear the party has come far but needs to go further. One can only hope they listen to the voice of reason and not to themselves.
“We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness, which is our greatest blessing, is also our downfall” – Joko Beck