The ANC leadership’s deficiencies are glaringly evident through their howling, absence of meaningful politics, and reliance on threats and intimidation. They demonstrate a complete lack of competence, and innovation, and are nothing more than empty vessels creating unnecessary noise.

By Mogomotsi Mogodiri

The ANC has allegedly developed a plan to discredit the opposition, labelling Zuma’s MK Party as tribalist and the DA as yearning for the return to apartheid, according to the Sunday Times.

I will not waste the readers’ valuable time by commenting on the nonsense about the racist, colonial DA. The ANC has made its stand on its relationship with it abundantly clear, despite their recent gerrymandering and obfuscation.

The ANC’s ongoing flirtation, courtship, and potential alliance with the arch-racist DA is a common occurrence. Various leaders, including the President of its Veterans League, Snuki Zikalala, have shamelessly expressed their misguided and reactionary views that the DA is the party’s preferred coalition partner.

How do you go into battle when you have already conceded defeat, despite the misleading claims of a clear ANC victory?

Mindboggling stuff!

It seems to be a done deal unless conscientious ANC members object. But I’m not holding my breath because ANC members of integrity are in short supply, as sycophancy and fear prevail. It is not worth engaging in the ANC’s obfuscation and “mantashing” (clumsy backpedalling) on that issue.

I want to interrogate the ANC’s plan regarding the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party. After reading the Sunday Times article, it seems that the alleged ANC plan is based on several key components. One of the main strategies is to use leaders from KwaZulu-Natal, both past and present, to “neutralise Zuma” and to rely on falsehoods, insults, and labelling. Furthermore, there is a legal battle over their exclusive rights to certain images, names, and likenesses.

The article claims that the ANC is deploying its “heavyweights,” such as Zweli Mkhize and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to come out, guns blazing, in a desperate attempt to stem the tide of haemorrhaging membership in that province.

Except for Mkhize and, to a lesser extent, Dlamini-Zuma (she still has a disciplinary albatross around her neck, and she has boldly refused to toe the “party line” regarding the Phala Phala shenanigans and subsequent cover-up), others like Sbu Ndebele, Bheki Cele, Siboniso Duma, and Bheki Mtolo are either politically weakened, insignificant, or even rogue elements, respectively.

I am reminded of Xolani Dube’s description of these characters as political “pickpockets” immediately after they were elected to the provincial executive committee of the ANC in KZN. I’m digressing!

The reactivation of Ndebele, particularly, is written with desperation and panic all over it. The less said about the involvement of Zandile Gumede amid the discredited “step-aside” rule, the better.

The embarrassing spectacles of Mtolo and Siboniso Duma have become legendary. Instead of helping the ANC’s course, their infantile disorder manifesting in insults, labelling, bullying, and zero content is undermining it and causing Brand ANC irreparable harm.

The howling, the lack of political substance and sophistry, and the threats and intimidation serve to expose the ANC KZN leadership’s political bankruptcy. They are out of depth; they have run out of ideas, and they sound like empty tins (that always make the loudest noise) that they are daily proving to be.

Anyway, they seem to be inspired by their loud-mouthed and verbal diarrhoea-infected Secretary General, Fikile Mbalula who similarly falsely believes that you can insult your way out of a crisis.

No tact, no strategy, no decorum, and no content!

They need to be reminded that insults and labelling are the luxury of fools. This ill-informed tactic is unsustainable. They are bound to run out of insults and labels, and what then?

We also learned that the ANC is pursuing a war to redeem the little that is left of Brand ANC. They have filed legal papers citing the uMkhonto we Sizwe Party and the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

One can only wonder what legal arguments the ANC is advancing. Is this not another classic case of abuse of legal process like the comical and infamous Ezuwilini case, where they were ordered to pay over R100 million for the debt they vociferously claimed they knew nothing of or was fraudulent, still fresh in our minds?

In any event, it seems as though the chickens have come home to roost. The current ANC has become renowned for being arrogant, dismissive, aloof, and complacent. They live in a bubble, detached from reality.

They have also gained notoriety for possessing a disturbing sense of entitlement. How can we forget their nauseous claim of “being the leader of society” and, by extension, having a divine right to be the governing party while currently offering little if anything to earn that title?

Moreover, the ANC, let alone uMkhonto we Sizwe, is the common heritage of South Africans, including the downtrodden, oppressed, poor, landless, economically exploited, and marginalised peoples of the world. I am, therefore, perplexed by the current ANC’s appropriation of our common heritage.

Their leaders have also proved to be incompetent. The IEC debacle of not being prudent by attending to the intended registration of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Party bears testimony to this troubling incompetence, ineptitude, and complacency. Or is it the irritating ANC’s false belief that it can bully everyone, including the IEC?

The relentless and vicious attacks on the MK Party and/or its members also betray a troubling and toxic bout of political intolerance. Why do ANC members believe that the only political choice is joining or blindly remaining ANC members? This is dangerous, and it needs to be nipped in the bud if we are to avoid the dire consequences occasioned by political intolerance.

When uMkhonto we Sizwe was being registered as a political party, they were dragging the IEC into their own mess.

The ANC’s audacity in challenging and bringing into question the IEC processes and their rigour boggles the mind. It also smacks of arrogance and a sense of entitlement, and it will be extremely worrying and disappointing for any court to condone this gross misbehaviour, some of the dubious rulings in favour of the ANC and some of its leadership notwithstanding.

It’s heartening that the IEC is defending the integrity and rigour of its processes. It can ill-afford to be bullied into submission, as this will strip it of its independence and integrity. That outcome (the IEC’s submission to political pressure) will augur ill for free and fair elections, as the IEC’s reputation will be in tatters.

If what I read is the plan, then it further validates my view that the ANC has lost talent and is currently bereft of thinkers, let alone analytical thinkers. Howlers and retards are well and truly in charge.

All in all, the proposed plan is not worth the paper it is written on. It is risky politically as the MK Party will get free airtime, much-needed voter attention, and probably sympathy while this saga rages on.

It is also weak legally as there was no such party using the name, logo, and colours within the IEC register, and the timeframe to object was never utilised up until it lapsed.

Therefore, the plan’s soft underbelly is challenging the IEC, as the ANC inexplicably squandered an opportunity to challenge the registration of uMkhonto we Sizwe as a political party. Instead, the ANC resorted to its discrediting playbook of arrogance, being dismissive, contemptuous, and even incompetent, inept, and feeling entitled.

Sending out leaders who have exceeded their political relevance, as well as those who have tarnished their reputations with irresponsible actions and statements, does not benefit the ANC’s cause, regardless of the passionate and unquestioning support of their leaders, members, and followers.

It is evident that the alleged plan is driven by a fixation on a specific individual or personality, namely Jacob Zuma.

Strategically, this is extremely unhelpful, misguided, and counterproductive as it serves to ignore, disregard, underestimate, and downplay the legitimate grievances of voters, particularly the landless, poor, and economically marginalised, and their palpable anger, especially about the ANC and its government for abandoning them.

The ANC has made its bed, and it must lie on it, no matter how painful it might be.

Mogomotsi Mogodiri is an ANC member, former Chairperson of COSAS Soweto, former AZASO-SANSCO leader, ex-political detainee, ex-MK combatant, and media specialist writing in his personal capacity.

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