Is there a Crisis in ANC collective moral leadership: The Phosa Limpopo Statement ?

– What informs these ambivalent statements –


The ANC this year is celebrating its centenary year as a democratic organization. It is said that the organisation for its history stands as a beacon of hope in an Africa where organisations seldom celebrate such longevity. The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki – Moon summarized this significant issue when he conveyed his congratulatory wishes to the ANC on this august occasion.

The ANC therefore as a paragon of longevity has therefore claimed the right to teach others how to survive the many intricate facets of organizing oneself, leadership squabbles, agendas and ultimately the ruling of a country for almost two decades now.

Yet amidst this historic opportunity and moment the newspapers carried last week an article of a claimed speech of Matthew Phosa, treasurer general of the ANC. As is usually the case, his words would be reinterpreted until we all led to believe we have heard him wrong.

Phosa’s comments warrants one asking if the ANC as democratic a organization as we know and claim from its known constitution and it’s praxis of electioneering, disallows for top leaders to lack the proverbial “balls” to stand up and say I disagree with this that and the other?

Lest we forget it was at the time of Mbeki’s recall claimed that a Phosa amongst others speaking through a Malema voice the disapproval of an Mbeki leadership.  As to the merits of such claim we will forever be in the dark yet a pattern is emerging of a leader who finds meaning in factionalised praxis as a means to prove a new form of  un-ANC leadership.

The ANC in history has always allowed for such concrete and clear disagreement amongst it’s members and leaders, yet with the proviso that when policy matters have been discussed and deliberated upon, which affords ample expression of individual opinion a position is adopted of all toeing the line.

It is not the first time that leaders stray from respecting the culture and ethos of discourse and opt to prove in a moment of crowd endearment to tantalize with divisive talk.

If the Top 6 has any member who disagreed with the cause of action undertaken in dealing with the claim of ill-discipline on the part of ANCYL leadership why would these members prove reluctant to share their views in open forum in ANC context, yet at the slightest moment of proverbial provocation choose to postulate claims such as ” comrade Premier your powers have been encroached upon”. Is this not serving as potential license to a Provincial Chairperson and Premier Mathale when his senior does not correct or require of him accountability but becomes engrossed to find political gerrymandering as a justified reason to prove silent when he is suppose to lead in asking tough questions from an equally elected ANC member.

What greater good  is served in not asking for accountability on the part of elected leadership? What political value is there for a Phosa to prove distinct even the opposite of a due  ANC – Led process immanent in constitutional embrace that have gone its cause for which the accused has ample recourse be such a Malema or whomever. Even more intriguing what political value is there for a Phosa to question a ANC -Led national administration’s intervention in a Limpopo that teeters on bankruptcy by its own admission.

Are we dealing with a leadership morality dilemma, in which the elected leaders of the ANC can sabotage the very processes and for personal political expediency. Maybe some would caution me on using a conflated loaded term such as sabotage, yet my claims are not as far fetched if the issue of personal ambition is at play.

The theme of the ANC for it’s Centenary carried the slogan “100 years of selfless struggle” as my golf t-shirt proudly attest. If we use this as more than a slogan, if we in any sense can remotely claim this history immanent in the graciously elected former ANC leaders can we make sense of the new ethos driven by self-centeredness and ambition.

If senior leaders in the ANC lack the mind, freedom to categorically disagree on a principle of action and has to resort to media moments of sunshine, can we still claim we are collectively led by people who mirror the ethos of a John Dube and others.

Is there a moral crisis in leadership when the ANC constitution and structures affords leaders and members the unequivocal right to have their own opinions and yet such avenues are not utilized but wildcat statements are made which lends itself to as usual misinterpretation?

When I am asking is there a moral crises in leadership I am asking given the truth of what a Limpopo government is dealing with as a bankrupt province who cannot pay it’s civil servants, service providers and the supply of food for sick patients, and a claimed flouted or augmented practice of cash-flow management what makes a Treasurer General of the ANC prove less responsible and almost careless in not discerning the issues and opting to prove defensive of the wrong. Yet the Treasurer General of the ANC has the right to advance his opinion but he never asked an elected Cassel Mathale to account for the claimed maladministration in a province that he leads. I would have thought one of the many questions a Phosa should have posed as a member of the top 6 and more so the Treasurer General “comrade premier how did your province get to this crises”.

What blinds leadership to argue political expedient Factionalised views when the real issue  of a Limpopo government is whitewashed as a political gerrymandering emanating from a claimed 2012 Mangaung Elective conference bedrock?

Can we ask the Treasurer General why he did not share his opinions in the structures and forums that he has access to? Can we ask elected Treasurer General if his conflating of personality politics with Malema as anchor serves the ideals of the movement?

Shall we to assume that the desire for power outweighs every reasonable thought of need to intervene on behalf of the people of a Limpopo? Shall we to assume  that the  Treasurer General is satisfied with the administration of bankruptcy as long as friendship in common pursuit of political agenda constitutes the basis of hegemony?

I shall prevail on Mr. Phosa, to share with us in less ambiguous and ambivalence his naked views on the ANCYL hearings, the issue of ill discipline in organisational context, the Limpopo Provincial elections and the state of Limpopo finances. It is your right to share and opine, it’s your organisational right to air such in the correct for a and structures. It is your elected leadership prerogative to share the prism of your thinking as you amply on many occasions have taken the liberty in media platform.

Yet I dare assert  it is not your right to lack the proverbial “balls” to prove suggestive and less concise, it’s not your right to conflate issues, it is not your right to fail to lead unambiguously and confuse all of us when you have your rightful  own political ambitions that at times clouds your judgment as you seek to manifest in factional sense when it warrants  to be prudent in collective leadership.

Can we ask of all ANC leaders to prove moral on the question of leadership as it relates to be honest about their convictions to at all times put the ANC and its people and voters first and to desist the factionalised statements with political expediency as it’s base.

I think it is important that all leaders make known there respective rightful desires to contest a position and quit the claimed selflessness mantra when it’s glaring that self-centeredness drives our intermittent actions wherein the ANC often remains the victim when its leaders prove less discerning and more emotional in rhetoric of factionalism, with  political expediency as the marauding umwelt.

Leaders do not divide they lead, leaders do not prove ambigious for they believe what they say and say what they believe regardless to how unpopular such may be, for they ultimately respect those who have placed a trust in them to lead.

Respectfully submitted

Clyde N. Ramalaine


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