Tue. Oct 22nd, 2019

Op-ed: Against naïve pragmatism

I remember there once was a time when people were as excited about the accession of Jacob Zuma, as they are now about Cyril Ramaphosa, believing that he would institute a pro-poor government.

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Instead, he set out to undermine our state, the constitution and brought our democracy to the brink, just to satisfy himself and business associates. And now here we are, doing it again; claiming that Ramaphosa is the best bet for the country when he keeps delinquents like Faith Muthabi, Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba in his cabinet. Not to mention his involvement in the Marikana Massacre. As a young concerned voter, I found the recent “pragmatic” endorsement by The Economist of Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership to be dangerous and frankly embarrassing.

You cannot separate the rot from the ANC – it is endemic.  The corruption and issues of the ANC that came to the forefront under Zuma, transcended his leadership. The ANC at its core is a party fundamentally characterised by cooperation and consensus of different social groups within its ranks. It is made up of factions that are ideologically dissimilar and people from different backgrounds and experiences.

Given that they came to power at a very tumultuous and uncertain time for our country, they have to appeal to a wide range of people from all walks of society, they have to appeal to “All”. However, in doing so, they internalise all social tensions and problems that are seen in society in order to undermine upheaval within society. However, this increases the chances of intensified conflict and upheaval within the party, especially when the stakes are high.

The point is, Zuma was not the only problem and Ramaphosa is not the saviour. The ANC is incapable of self-correction –  it is in the interest of the party to maintain things as they are.

It is high-time that the people
voted it out. One cannot separate individuals from the ANC, or any party for
that matter. When South Africans go to the poll on Wednesday they will not be
casting their vote for Cyril Ramaphosa, or Mmusi Maimane or Julius Malema for
that matter, they will be casting their vote for the African National Congress
(ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF),
with all their factional politics. It is okay to like Ramaphosa, but please
let’s not be naïve about the party he represents.

If you are based in London and interested in hearing more about this
and other alternatives, be sure to attend the Royal African Society pre-election
briefing, with speakers from ANC UK and the DA Abroad. 

You can find the link here: www.royalafricansociety.org/event/south-africa-pre-election-briefing

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