Martin Young
Martin Young

Any heroes in the ANC, please stand up?

Just when you thought it could not get any worse, it just did. Jacob Zuma clearly wants what he wants and he wants it now. And so, the prospect of JZ waking up to a R4 BILLION jet under his Christmas tree at his R250 MILLION Nkandla on the 25th has edged a little closer with the firing of a minister of finance who thought it was a bad idea.

One wonders when those in the ANC with any moral fibre remaining will say that enough is enough. As the rand plummets to new depths at the prospect of a failed municipality mayor taking on the considerable challenges of new minister of finance, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s silence is damning. In fact, the whole Cabinet’s silence is damning. Not a single bit of spine has been shown by those under the patronage system other than ex-minister Nhlanhla Nene, who now moves to a position incapable of threatening Zuma’s plan to stay in power at all costs, and to do so in rapper bling style.

One could say the ANC saved South Africa in the early 1990s by agreeing to Nelson Mandela’s willingness to reconcile and to avert a civil war fought by one race against another. As a country we dodged that bullet by the proverbial hair’s breadth.

South Africa faces an equally dangerous challenge today. Zuma’s willingness to govern with his fingers in the fiscal piggy bank and damn the consequences is a direct threat to the hopes and dreams of millions of South Africans. His actions hit the pockets of every single one of us. Forget SA finding investment under his authority. Forget SA creating new jobs — it just won’t happen under Zuma’s catastrophic control of the economy.

As the 2016 local elections loom, followed by 2019 national elections, there is a very real sense that our democracy may not be healthy enough to survive dirty-trick campaigns for Zuma to remain in power at all costs. Signs of his influence are already there in the appointment of a Zumaphile as head of the IEC, the “Independent” Electoral Commission. Ha! Anyone really believe that? Anyone not see the recent court action to revoke by-elections supposedly won by ANC candidates?

South Africa is plummeting into an abyss under Zuma’s control, and the question must be asked, who can stop him, and when? 2016 may be too late.

Image – ColinKinner/flickr/CC BY

Image – ColinKinner/flickr/CC BY

My belief is that ANC members with vision, guts, and any sense of integrity have the power within the party to rein Zuma in. His actions have threatened everyone in this country equally. He has little to lose by doing so. His determination to stay in power is dragging his own party and all in it down, let alone the rest of the country.

So it remains to be seen whether everyone in the once proud ANC will let Zuma get his way, and let him wreck the party, the country and all our futures.

If the ANC is proud of a tradition of heroism, now may be the perfect time for those within the organisation who love South Africa and all her people to show it.

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