– Could it be that the ANC in organisational renewal is finally beginning to heal ?
This week was another eventful week in our South African political world. It was a week in which the ANC called a special sitting of the NEC.
The agenda had two items namely organisational preparations for its upcoming policy formulation conference and the much anticipated Malema expulsion review considerations. Naturally given the hype created around the latter it took centre stage paling into oblivian the first item on the agenda. By admission of both the ANC Secretary General and the spokesman the latter mooted Malema expulsion premise for review issue took most of the time of the deliberations in which it is claimed almost everyone of the 86 members were given opportunity to express their views.
According to Mantashe the discussions were frank and robust, yet in the end the NEC found no compelling grounds to give consideration to a possible review of the NDC and NDCA rulings on Malema, Magaqa and Shivambu.
Needless to say, though these facts were shared and broadcast, I like many received a forwarded ‘wattsapp message’ from an ANCYL member that communicated in graphic detail who stood up for the Youth, who almost got into blows and how Zuma ruled 85 outspoken NEC members in dictate. I thought it right to include the message verbatim.
“This is the report I’m getting YL Review dismissed. Zuma dictated terms. Kgalema launched the attack saying the review must be finished today. Tokyo launched a blistering attack on Zuma direct. Nomvula sold us out and said we are lobbying them at night. Jeff confesses that on Magaqa’s matter, they made a mistake and Zuma insisted that no review. Mbaks fought, Tony nearly fought physically with Blade. Zuma summarised and said, NEC of the ANC must convene YL and tell them that this matter is over and in both Policy conference and Mangaung, nobody must raise this matter. The matter was closed. Battle line were drawn there. Our forces spoke. Lumka Yengeni, Siphiwe Nyanda, Paul Mashatile, Soviet, Mbalula, Tokyo, Songezo, Cassel Mathale, Zamani, Tandi Toobais, DSG, TG, DP, Mathole Motshekga, Taba Mufumadi fought out right. Some NEC members(David Makhura) were barred an opportunity to speak and were ordered by Zuma directly not to speak at all. YL waqs denied a constitutional right by Zuma. Pass the msg.”
This is the message I received, clearly in stark contradiction to what we received from the SG and spokesman.
The problem with this message if its contents are true as forwarded is manifold. Firstly it communicates that it was a bloody tussle, and those mentioned stood up for the expelled Malema and suspended Magaqa and Shivambu, yet notwithstanding all of this they were overruled by a dictator.
Secondly it means the entire NEC is controlled by the ANC president, perpetuating the claim of dictatorship. Thirdly it suggests those who sought a review failed dismally to make their case.
Lastly it suggests that those in the top six who wanted a review proved weak today and may never be strong enough at a claimed ‘Mangaung of Revenge’ if these have any hopes of availing themselves in what is being touted as the infamous ABZ ( All But Zuma hypothesis) doing the rounds.
Is it possible that in the hustle of contorted emotions and a need to prove the victim- villian mindset gripping our politics some critical issues communicated by this special hearing is missed. Maybe it’s time to seriously look at what this decision of the NEC really communicates because this is often lost in the emotional blackmail of victimhood.
Maybe the NEC confirmed the unity of the ANC is not as soluble a commodity as some want to claim. That this organisational unity that many commentators confuse for uniformity and have assigned so many final death dates, remain solid and uncontested.
Perhaps this NEC confirmed that sense do prevail regardless to how emotional the subject a matter it has to deal with. There is little doubt that the Malema saga is and remains a very emotional one often disallowing reason to prevail as many are caught in the throng of trying to sow division.
Perhaps this NEC confirmed that the NDC and NDCA remains the respected institutional structures of discipline and final authority on such matters. That the abuse hurled at its members remains despicable unwaranted and shortsighted. That the status of the NDC and NDCA in organisational context hold.
The NEC in its decision proved that despite the robust nature of the deliberations the claimed factions so oft touted and shared with an almost statistical research evidence remains the figment of imagination of those who want an us and them scenario immanent in factionalism.
Perhaps the NEC confirmed there is but one ANC who engenders a long history of robust debates, on sensitive matters yet rise above such.
It confirmed an ANC in which disciplinary issues remain disciplinary issues for which political solutions are not the answer.
The NEC with this outcome, confirms that decisions are reached by consensus informed by frank and honest discourse in which no fear governs discourse.
The NEC confirmed that not only shall Malema remain expelled and Magaqa and Shivambu suspended for having flouted the policy of the ANC and sowing seeds of discord, but the ANC does not tolerate that at all, and that ill-discipline deserves the might of discipline.
The NEC confirmed that in this centenary year of its existence, organizational renewal with its multi-facets remains a cornerstone the movement is striving for, informed by an ethos of a disciplined membership.
This NEC sitting takes the ANC constitution serious and affords it the sacred place and venerated position it holds in organisational definition.
Finally the NEC affirmed that no one is above the organisation joining it remains a voluntary decision, serving in it remains a privilege and not a right. Respecting its history is a demand the organisation prevail on all those who joined voluntarily.
If you ask me Africa’s longest surviving Movement is beginning to show signs of organisational renewal and healing, though these may be early days.
Clyde N.S Ramalaine – Social Commentator