Ace Magashule has found a way to turn the African National Congress’ (ANC) loss of support at the 2019 General Elections into something positive.
Speaking at the annual Walter Sisulu memorial lecture in Bloemfontein in the Free State, Magashule resuscitated the #WhiteMonopolyCapital buzzword and insisted that South Africans still have faith in the ANC.
The ruling party won just 57.50 % of the vote at the recent
elections, their lowest ever tally and the first time support dipped under 60%.
Magashule, however, delivered a rhetoric loaded speech, insisting that the party remains almost universally loved.
“Our people demand service delivery, sustainable jobs, efficient health services, and an accountable government.
Their hope still lay with the ANC, which dare not betray them. The people were refusing to be subtenants and squatters in the land of their birth. This was the current challenge – to better the quality of life of the people, and this could only be done when the ANC remained an unapologetic fighting force.”
He added that the government must work towards reviving the
country’s economy, especially in informal areas. He said:
“Starting with the township economy. We too have come of age, and are willing to take charge of our affairs. [Former president] Nelson Mandela once warned us that: ‘Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies’.”
“It must not be argued that we are motivated by hate. We are motivated by the quest for justice. It is an irrefutable truth that for long as the poor are poor, the rich cannot sleep at night.”
Magashule is alleged to have been involved in in
multi-million rand corruption scandals. He has vehemently denied those claims,
But he let rip at “white monopoly capital” during
his speech. While the phrase itself has been around for some time, it entered
the popular South African discourse through an allegedly under handed campaign
by scandal ridden Bell Pottinger, to paint the infamous Gupta family as being
victims of some grand conspiracy.
On Saturday, Magashule bellowed:
“We cannot allow a few of us to be co-opted into the power structure of the (mainly white) rich, while many – indeed most black and African people – still remain poor.
“We cannot defeat White Monopoly Capital by allowing it to co-opt us.”
Magashule also went off script, urging the crowd not to
praise ANC members who are still alive.
“Never sing songs about leaders who are still alive because they are going to think they are important. They are promoted by the media. They think they are more important than the ANC itself.”
This could be seen as another jab at President Cyril Ramaphosa. Magashule scoffed at the suggestion that Ramaphosa had renewed hope in the party during the 2019 Elections. He made a point of stating clearly that Ramaphosa is not the ANC. This was rebuked by Fikile Mbalula.
But perhaps the most curious line of his speech was buried
towards the end.
“We are heading for troubled times, and we are surely coming for what is ours.”
While Magashule did not elaborate, much hysteria currently surrounds
the implementation of land expropriation without compensation. This statement
could be a reference to that.
Ramaphosa has been on the charm offensive to calm nerves around the process, but if the above quote is indeed in reference to land, it’s quite clear that the party might be even more fractured than it is letting on.