By Mbangwa Xaba

The malicious palace intrigues tearing the ruling ANC apart are, at face value, a family matter.

However, the murky waters from the internal ructions have now spilt over into a national flood of paralysis. Our country and the continent can ill afford any further dangerous flirtation with political volatility.

In fact, flirtation might be a very restrained description. It could be that our society is well on its way towards mayhem. We have already moved from a pedestal of a “miracle rainbow nation” to the front seat of obnoxious nations as a confirmed racial inequality skank of the world.

In this country, millions of majority black citizens wallow in abject poverty amidst a sea of opulence enjoyed exclusively by the minority white section of society.

We also hold the world’s first position in crime and grime. We claim leader status in all kinds of murders from armed robbery to domestic violence, right down to street-level vigilantism; thanks mostly to the growing afro-phobia – which makes us the world’s murder capital. Our killing fields place the Russia-Ukraine war somewhere in a distance behind us. 

If you take out the rolling power outages, the rising food prices and the rate of unemployment should be enough to make all of us pause in order to correct our ways because frankly, we are on the brink of oblivion.

If nothing drastic happens our fate towards that direction is sealed. I can state with absolute certainty that whoever delivers the closing remarks at the ANC conference in December, will, with their eyes wide shut lead the nation to a future where the current turbulences will only worsen.

It’s too late now for the ANC to do anything about it. They cannot even find a more suited leader than President Cyril Ramaphosa and former health minister Zweli Mkhize. These morally tardy individuals are hardly the type of people we need to mobilise our nation out of lawlessness into uprightness and reinvigoration.

Their personas feature prominently in spine-chilling criminal enquiries, the kind of stuff that could put many crime fiction writers to shame.

President Ramaphosa is particularly unattractive. He has done nothing but betray the nation’s hopes to cut clean with an image of state pillaging. Even if we were to set aside the potential criminal charges he faces as a result of the 2020 heist of millions of dollars at his Phala Phala farm, the man remains damaged. 

The president, elected on a ticket of clean governance and moral leadership apparelling, labelled as a man of ‘a new dawn’ supposedly to rescue South Africa from a phenomenon of state capture, tarnished this image even before he took office.

His very ascendency was marred instantly by reports that it was a product of despicable rot of vote buying. It is now common course that in a desperate bid to hide the sources of his alleged dirty money, the president has sought the protection of courts, to seal the details of his “CR17 Campaign” funding.

Like his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, the president is going to conference with a dark cloud hanging over his head. On his way to Polokwane in 2007, Zuma had just survived a rape charge and possible jail time, but corruption charges lingered. As a result, he still battles to stay out of jail 15 years later.

The president dodges legal bullets pretty much like Zuma with each passing day. He relies on legal manoeuvring to manage multiple crime allegations around the theft of large sums of US dollars at his farm, and the use of police resources to kidnap, assault and bribe Namibian foreign nationals fingered in that robbery.

His election nemesis, the former health minister has similar woes. A report given to Ramaphosa by the SIU found that Mkhize manipulated state contracts for personal benefit. It alleges that a shady R150-million contract awarded to a communications company – Digital  Vibes bordered on the criminal.

Ramaphosa may win his second term as ANC president come December 22 and Mkhize might have his first try. But both have a rugged path to the highest office in two years’ time.

As for Ramaphosa, the show has begun with the three-man panel headed by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo finding him wanting on his Phala Phala allegations. Even if he was to succeed in the judicial review he has set in motion, or be shielded by the ANC majority in the impeachment process, this matter will certainly drag on into his presidency.

Mkhize faces the same dilemma because both these men are morally questionable or like the SIU found in Mkhize’s case, “at best, improper … at worst, unlawful.” 

So, from the very onset, their presidency will have very little to do with the rest of us but their own survival. It is exactly this set of circumstances that leads many African leaders to hold on to power more than it is necessary.

“My brother, I am riding a tiger here, if I get off this thing it will devour me,” one head of state told a former statesman turned mediator who was trying to get him to relinquish power.

It is as clear as daylight that Africa is held back by the moral decadency of her greedy political leaders who see the levers of state power as nothing but security for their personal survival.

Seen in this context, developments in South Africa are extremely frightening. South Africa has a proud legacy for its peacekeeping efforts in the continent. She just can’t be guilty of provoking political instability.

It would be an ugly blight on the host to multinational fora such as the Pan African Parliament, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

All these institutions under the auspices of the African Union, as exampled by the Ethiopian peace breakthrough at the beginning of November are working hard towards building Africa to be the global powerhouse that it rightfully is.

We are the last people to destroy such a sterling job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *