Shareef Blankenberg
Shareef Blankenberg

Goduka uyokuphumla, Tutu et al

So, the Archbishop Emeritus is saying that he would boycott next year’s election if things continue in the ANC the way they are. He also said that ANC President Zuma should withdraw “as ANC candidate for the presidency“. Once again, Tutu is displaying his ignorance of how the ANC works and once again proof that he is in fact not a member of the ANC. Although there is reasonable consensus among real ANC members that our president should become the president of the Republic, such a decision had never been taken officially. This would only happen at the National List Conference, where it would be up to ANC delegates to take such a decision.

Now Tutu has become a crusader for Thabo Mbeki, a man he openly criticised (often unfairly so). What changed? Did Mbeki all of a sudden become a disciple of good leadership and integrity — things that Tutu accused him of lacking?

On the same hand, Mluleki George and others are taking on the ANC — even in public; the same group of people who wanted Nozizwe Mdlala-Routledge to be disciplined by the ANC for holding a media conference to defend herself against her sacking as deputy minister for health.

At no stage did the ANC give notice, public or private, of wanting Cabinet members to quit. In fact, the ANC quite explicitly asked them to remain in office. They were the ones who made the decision to leave. And now they are accusing the ANC of “wanting to get rid of them” (words of Terror Lekota). How preposterous.

And Lekota’s audacity to call upon Madiba, OR Tambo, Nkosi Albert Luthuli and other great leaders, in order to justify their attempts to break up the ANC! I can’t, for the life of me, think that any of these great men would have supported such behaviour by an ANC member. Lekota of all people — the very man who insulted Madiba at an NEC meeting he (Lekota) presided over. Does he really think that OR would have condoned an ANC member approaching the ANC leadership via public media? Does he really think that Nkosi Luthuli would have agreed with someone who openly wants to cause disunity in the ANC?

Inasmuch as one wants to think these things are related to the changes in Government, it is really about Jacob Zuma. These former ministers are on record stating that they do not want to serve the country under President Zuma. Many of them have hinted at their decision not to avail themselves after the expiration of the current government term. Why would that be, when President Zuma gave assurances that no one who did a good enough job would really have to fear replacement. Or is it because they know they have not been doing a good job?

If they want to form a new party, let them. We have history on our side. Robert Sobukwe broke away from the ANC to form the PAC. What are they today? A party split three ways with only one member in Parliament. I don’t think that Bantu Holomisa ever thought that he would have so few members, that he can’t even have a proper national conference of the UDM.

And does anyone remember the people who broke away from the ANC in 1969 following the landmark conference in Morrogorro, Tanzania?

But the ANC is still here, survived all of them. And we will be here for a long, long, long time to come …