Why The EFF will struggle to exist in the future!

Why the EFF will struggle in a future existence!

-Can it ever escape the antithetical twin personality-cult (Zuma & Malema) definition of its existence? –

It is history now that a party named the EFF or Economic Freedom Fighters was formed, is duly registered and in the run for the 2014 National Elections. Can we for a moment reflect on what the future of this party is through understanding its formation and overarching reason for existence?

The Economic Freedom Fighters party claims a start in the undeniable need of economic redress  for a majority of people wrongly or rightly defined as ‘black’ who informed by the systems of colonialism, apartheid underpinned by racism remain left behind, denied,  robbed and in abject poverty.

It is my view that regardless to a political freedom attained at the dawn of our democracy, the subject of economic redress no sane South African can question or regard as irrelevant. Africa’s history in liberation or independence marks decisive moments of political freedoms, yet the homecoming of economic redress to these very independent nations has remained consistently evasive for all of Africa’s independent states. If Ghana is an example, after more than 50 years of democracy independence and political freedom this nation still wrestles with the challenge of an economic redress. In fact, Ghana’s economic growth has peaked and is high at 7% as one of the leading countries in the continent.

Yet this economic growth so desperately argued in SA at what is considered a  paltry projected  growth of 1,5% has not translated in any meaningful sense to a true change of life exemplified in economic redress for Ghanaians. Rendering the question of the relevance of economic growth as a sign of redress a subject of speculation, yet that is another topic.

The words of Nkrumah in his comparison between socialism and colonial capitalism, is perhaps relevant in this context when remarks:  “Ghana inherited a colonial economy…. We cannot rest until we have demolished this miserable structure and raised in its place and edifice of economic stability, thus creating for ourselves a veritable paradise of abundance and satisfaction… we must go forward with our preparations for planned economic growth to supplant the poverty, ignorance, disease and illiteracy left in the wake by discredited colonialism and decaying imperialism…. Socialism is the only pattern that can within the shortest possible time bring the good lie to the people.”

Therefore, if one argues the formation of the EFF as that which is derived from the reality of tangible need to transform the South African economic plateau to reflect not borrowed robes but African kaftans of ownership it would be difficult to falter its relevance and existence in this epoch.

Much as the reality and context of a much-needed economic redress exists and cannot be argued away, close examination of the formation of the EFF, appears not honestly located on this crucial axis of this reality.

I shall endeavour to argue, that the EFF as an organisation exists contrary to public belief not really in economic redress – which is really a tool, but the subject of a combination of antithetical personalities.

The first of these personalities, when first does not have to assume a chronological first, but a fundamental first is that of its leader Julius Sello Malema.

The truth is the EFF was formed as a direct result of an expulsion of its leader or commissar as the EFF prefers to refer to its leaders. It is here that we must pause to ask – what is the salience of its existence devoid of the expulsion of this leader?

It will become necessary to admit that the EFF derives its meaning informed by the persona of its leader, who rightly at a particular time in his historic party raised the subject of economic redress. The EFF therefore it can be argued is a party that was formed firstly because its leader was expelled. On the cuff, this argument could be reduced to ignorance because he as leader is expected to be paramount in his party, yet that as an experiential reality, cannot be confused for the fundamental purpose of its existence.

Secondly, the EFF in existence if the aggregate of the official public pronouncements, comments, articulations, and press releases are anything to go by exists and derives its meaning from another personality. The second personality, which perhaps again is not necessarily a chronological second but a fundamental second and may even really be the first personality axis for the EFF’s existence is Jacob Zuma, the current president of the ANC and South Africa.

When we remonstrate here Zuma a cardinal reason for the existence of the EFF, it is not to make cheap attack of the EFF. It is to make bold in acknowledgement at an ontological level the fact that it is the persona of a Zuma, wrongly or rightly encountered, experienced as perceived by the EFF leader and his team that constitutes the essence of resistance. This therefore necessitates the question can the EFF exist outside the mellifluous confined munificence of the personalities it has as its ontological and primary base.

Thirdly the EFF has not abandoned its former ANCYL leadership fight, it cannot rise above the recalcitrance of a fight, which has an internal organisational context, the same that protests eternally shaping it. It appears victims and hostages carceral to the identity of a historic ANCYL. It was as ANCYL leader that the EFF leader pronounced, jibed, accused, blamed, and pummelled insults on the ANC leadership. It was in the constricted confines of a membership that it challenged at every turn the sitting ANC president and his leadership with the explicit aim to unseat him and thus rescue the ANC from his control as what the deemed a dictator.

It was from the bedrock of that rebellion that it arrogated a power to rescue the ANC presidency and hand it to whomever they think another personality Kgalema Motlanthe, Matthew Phosa, Tokyo Sexwale  or whomever at the time of  ‘kingmaker-status’ it was able to claim a comrade in a struggle against the ANC leadership. Listening to the EFF Leadership in particular, its leader you still hear the same rhetoric, the same insults the same rebellion. This aspect speaks directly to the conundrum of EFF history from which it cannot escape. You hear this meandering insult and at times childlike blackmail in the EFF’s leader’s latest rant ‘The ANC forgave apartheid murderers whose hands drip with blood, but it won’t forgive me”. This confirms that the EFF leader has not fully shaken the identity of former ANCYL president, and potentially may never in the future.

I shall ask can the EFF exist without its current Commissar? God forbid and we pray nothing ever as tragic as death occurs to anyone before time particularly not someone as young as its leader; yet can the EFF move on free from the confines of its leader if he for whatever reason is no more there? The answer appears no, because regardless to how we may attempt searching for an EFF policy think-tank, strategic thrust, leadership direction, manifesto and visionary presence, these stand in the shadow of a Juju. If I may speculate perhaps, Kenny Kunene who in quick succession dumped the EFF and recently registered his own party to compete also next year may have come to this conclusion that the EFF is Malema and Malema is the EFF. This very possibly could translate to a MEFF in congruence of acronym.

This reality is a daunting one since Malema constitutes the EFF in a larger than life construct for he is its existence and any thought of him not leading an EFF is not remotely a reality. The persona of Malema good bad or indifferent shapes the day-to-day experience of the South African public on who the EFF is. Malema’s statements cause jitters among a claimed ‘white’ endangered group. It is the pronouncements of Malema whether addressing the media or in a criminal court case embrace that defines who the EFF is. The EFF therefore shifts in ‘headquarters’ to wherever Malema finds himself and this roving of its ‘headquarters’ comes with a volatility and flux of what I choose to call unsettled debris.

The EFF has since its existence whilst endowed with a legitimate anchor-opportunity of economic redress handed on a platter by 20 years of inaction on the part of the ANC, failed to present a concise and practical plan supported by a constitutional democracy paradigm for its vision of economic redress. It is an organisation caught in the ebb and flow of tides never totally settled on its visionary outlook of a claimed economic redress, if it can settle for its vision is not really its vision – but remains the dethroning of another persona Jacob Zuma.

On the other hand, can the EFF exist beyond the other persona (Jacob Zuma) who constitutes the sphere of its existence? The current ANC leader a year ago won his second term with a landslide victory at Mangaung. Thus, he gained the right  to lead the ANC and is poised to lead the Nation after April 2014 when the 5th elections results are out. This would best case scenario forbidding all other potential and brewing ructions see him leading the ANC until 2017 and the country until 2019. Whilst this may be considered a long time, the truth is it is not, suggesting 4/5 years maximum.

The following scenarios may unfold, the president may like any of us one morning during his term never wake up. He may fall ill and may not be able to hold office and or he may be impeached for whatever many reasons exists in our public domain as legitimate grounds for his impeachment aka Nkandla gate etc. In the case of the latter, the ANC may as it deployed him recall him for it has done so in 2008 when it recalled a sitting South Africa president. Suggesting the lifespan of a Zuma presidency is nowhere a guarantee that it will necessarily end by 2018/2019 respectively, therefore in relation to the EFF it holds too much significance.

The truth is removing a Zuma presidency in ANC and Country context is a fundamental axis of the EFF and thus if this attained, would render it in mission accomplished and conclude its true existence rendering it potentially irrelevant in future.

The faulty context for this assumption of a removal of Zuma though the essence of the EFF’s existence, lays in this that the ANC unlike the EFF does not exist because of a Zuma. Regardless to how the EFF attempts to invoke the acronym of ZANC on the ANC, it simply cannot be argued if Zuma leaves however before his term ends or at the end of his second terms the EFF members will be called by the ANC into a meeting to discuss how they can be reintegrated back into the body corporate of the ANC.

It appears justifiable and  much more easier to talk about a MEFF than a ZANC if these two organisations are duly analysed as practiced realities. The ANC as a 100-plus year old organisation has a deputy president, who was voted in by its constituencies and structures that determines its vision backed by a policy presence that informs the plan its president follow and lead in a collective of leadership in consultation with its strategic partners exemplified as the Tripartite Alliance.

It is not as simple as that, neither is it as romantic as that. The truth is the EFF leadership has been expelled after a series of legitimate hearings and recognised processes in what was considered perhaps the most volatile period of post-apartheid internal organisational context. The expulsion notwithstanding some objecting for a variety of divergent reasons against it were accepted at the July 2012 Policy Conference and adopted at the December Mangaung 2012  Elective Conference regardless to the many silo attempts of overturning it. The ANC will not be able to afford the repatriation of the EFF leader unless it wants to make him its leader for he would be able to claim to unseat anyone any time for his persona would eclipse the due processes and praxis of ANC leadership elections.

Hence, Zuma for all intends and purposes are insignificant in the greater scheme of things. That insignificance of a sitting president was shown in 2008 when Thabo M. Mbeki was recalled. The commentary at the time blazoned “the end of the ANC.” That incident saw the formation of a COPE, which many thought, will take the ANC down, yet COPE is in tatters court-hogged in leadership tussle of who really leads it. Many of those who left returned to the ANC, and are sitting very still, and quiet trying to earn the respect of the ANC. The ANC shook that off maybe not with ease but it is part of its history and one cannot argue that any president ever will hold the significance in the ANC as an organisation juxtaposed to that of the very significant Malema in the EFF.

Having looked at the trapped state of the EFF in a dichotomy of personalities immanent in its significant Commissar Julius S. Malema and the antithetical Jacob G. Zuma, combined with  its nagging ANCYL history it becomes challenging to contend a future for the EFF if any of these personalities abruptly pass on or falls in challenge of self-designed misfortune.

The pertinent question for the future EFF existence then becomes, does the followers understand that this antithetical personality-cult trapped state of design, which its party is held in proverbial hip-hop Mary – Mary shackles and from which it simply cannot escape? Do they appreciate that economic freedom fighting is not a primary aspect, since it can never be if the primary essence of its existence is cast in stone and already defined?

Can the EFF escape this personality-trapped context and derive relevance in the South African political context. A relevance that 50 years from now would be regarded a significant moment when it was launched as the dawn of true economic redress in which the subject became the primary reasoned, discussed, engaged, placated aspect and not that of a persona be it Zuma or his antithesis Malema?

  • Perhaps it will help the EFF to begin engaging these aspects and depart from the rhetoric it has paraded in volumes for the duration of its existence. Perhaps it must present its collective leaders to afford an opportunity for us as public to see the depth of what it presides over at multi-levels.
  • Perhaps it must designate deliberate and contextual space to engage on platforms available to crystallise the construct of an economic freedom, also why it is a fight and not an event of red berets. The public discourse of political and economic future for SA in which economic redress anchors such remains empty of any scholarly and researched articles and input as led by the initiative of the EFF.

The likes of Floyd Shivambu, Dali Mpofu, Andile Mngitixama, and others are all independent thinkers who should give us a mosaic of interpretation of this dream of economic redress as understood in EFF context. Not only have that but propel these debates at YouTube level, in forums and structures of our evolving multi-level communications and social media fronts. The EFF lacks a strategic thrust to see the necessity of leading and redirecting the discourse to drive ultimately its point home, because it is held hostage by its history and confined to its personality based definition.

Why not let these and others who come gifted to ventilate their views be exposed to the debate in real-time. One may not agree with the aforementioned individuals on an ideological platform but they have each a valid contribution to make in the context of an evolving EFF discourse of economic redress. Is it not too an expensive cost to incur to have the EFF defined in singular Malema turbulence of utterance context?

  • Perhaps free the EFF from the ongoing Malema court case- drama, and locate it in the space it deserves as a pungent reality. If not the EFF will run the risk no different to the former ANCYL leadership to become irrelevant as an organisation and structure.
  • Perhaps the EFF must shift its focus from Malema and create a presence outside of Malema; the same I contend appears its current impossibility. More so, the EFF must shake itself loose from the entrapment of a Zuma unseating paradigm to prove relevant and real in its overarching claimed mission.
  • Perhaps the legitimate economic redress must take centre stage not in solar flares of antecedent hate speech and moribund threat, but constructive sanguine and thought provoking paradigms of reason.
  • Perhaps if the EFF begins to locate the debate where it ought to be its relevance in democracy will force an ANC to respond either in shifted paradigm of inaction or retaliation which will severely harm it.
  • Perhaps the EFF must focus on the 7% of COPE voters still searching for a political home and claim these from a COPE that is directionless. One is saying broaden the EFF horizon beyond the ANC and ANCYL presence.

I like many in South Africa equally prove desirous of the elusive economic redress for the masses. Yet we cannot assume redress is a solitary exercise therefore we must take the debate on economic redress to another level, the masses remained owed it as an undeniable reality.

In the final analysis, I simply do not think the EFF has taken the subject of economic redress yet serious and I equally doubt if it ever will be able for the personality, cult defined in love and hate renders it a blurred picture to see it is not taking the genuine subject of economic redress serious.

It is my unequivocal submission that history will judge the EFF no different to the ANC for not having taken the time to take the subject serious when it claimed it focussed on such! The recreation of the  Nkrumah’s ‘veritable paradise for abundance and satisfaction’ is not an optional matter and therefore cannot become a mirage or  phantom of never attained utopian dream for SA.

Respectfully submitted.

Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

*****This article appears courtesy of Dusty Musings – Political Commentary & Analysis 2013-2014

Due February 2014

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Mandela’ a Legacy of sanitised shades!

Mandela’ a Legacy of sanitised shades!

 

Mandela our hero and nightmare,

Mandela the victory and the scarecrow,

Mandela in this season in sanitized history

Mandela forced on us today

As our necessary freedom delay

 

The only “white” spot

In pitch blackness of shame

The iconic one-sided paragon

Where leaders are claimed gone

Mandela the only nice- one!

Just not sure what nice !

 

Mandela a twisted saga

Mandela a convenient claim

Whitewashed into Sainthood

The beatings stick of Africans

A single man like Atlas

Who had none before?

At least so say those who reinvent him!

 

 

If they could make him white

If they could exorcise him from his cradle

If they could rewrite his history – devoid of an ANC stench

If they could call him theirs

In which theirs exclude ours…

If they can… they do

 

 

Mandela the myth,

Mandela the agony,

Mandela the horror !

Who, was born in 1994

Got his identity in Springbok rugby jersey

Mandela from a skewed “Invictus”

Mandela the gold coin

His name has made them filthy rich

Those around him star-struck for the Arian race

Be it statute, movie, book, memorabilia etc

Mandela number 6 of Africa’s game of Big 5

As they click away their claim of him being theirs

When his own never could meet him!

 

Mandela the free-born

Mandela – Apartheid benefactors currency

Mandela, who in ripe age forced to,  

Still slog for narrow white interest

Who must work for them!

Who must protect them?

Against who? If not us?

Mandela the demilitarised zone…

Black man’s yardstick..

 

 

If you embrace him as hero

Accept at some point he was a zero

 

If he ensembles peace

Don’t naysay him as revolutionary

 

If he is reconciler

Forget not he was among those who founded MK

 

If you love, his smile and dance

Forget not the Black pimpernel trance

 

If you make him a morality

Forget not his many flaws

If you celebrate his greatness

Ask who was before him, for he stands in huge shoes

 

He is a soldier

He is a freedom fighter

He is a defiant soul in hate of apartheid

He is a comrade, less an icon…

He is common less a god!

 

You can’t whitewash him

You can’t sanitize his past

How long do you think it can last

We won’t let you detox his history

We won’t let  you get away with this lie

For his is ours,

You can’t separate him from us,

He didn’t come from space

 

He is our hero, but one of many

He is our brother, from many

He is ours not in uniqueness

He is ANC, He is ANC, He ANC,

For he was always ANC!

You  can’t attempt remake him now –

To suit a ‘white’ privilege agenda…

 

You either accept Mandela in all his shattered shades

Or you reject him in all  your sophistic claims.

  

Clyde N.S Ramalaine

22/11/2013  5h41pm

Can the ANC Western Cape Leadership lead beyond a 2014 elections victory?

Can the ANC Western Cape Leadership lead beyond a 2014 elections victory?

 

I have somewhere contended that the SACC (South African Council of Churches), that once pristine an unparalleled organisation, laboured so hard as surrogate mother to carry the pregnancy of Freedom. It was stretched in all facets to make possible the birth of the proverbial baby we all fought for, yet it was not capable to go beyond the maternity room and raise this proverbial child  called Freedom who is now almost an adult at 20 years.

 

I was reflecting  on the conclusion I draw on the SACC and its relevance historically then and its almost irrelevance now, when I pondered on the Western Cape and the chance of the ANC taking it in 2014. 

 

My controversial and perhaps not expected question therefore is has the ANC Western Cape healed from all its internal personality based driven issues, to lead the Western Cape from 2014 in collective and focused vision forward of dealing with the triplets of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

 

It is one thing to seek to win an election it is something else to win an election with a collective and solid leadership that understands the bigger picture, one that is conscious of the current and in visionary sense can appropriate this moment as the seed of the tomorrow. 

 

The premise for my question emanates from the fact that the DA (Democratic Alliance) nationally but more so in the Western Cape is visibly vulnerable and shaken, due to a sustained campaign. The current ANC leadership has been aerating the proverbial soil of elections victory and runs a consistent and vibrant campaign to keep the pressure on the DA. Looking back over the last year one can see different moments when the DA has shown this growing and now vulnerability and at times a pervasive ineptness to deal with the issues of the Western Cape in a constructive and coherent sense.

 

A litany of incidents and events attest to this confirmed structural weakness in the DA. These include amongst others the Save our Schools campaign, the De Doorns farm worker saga and issues, the Khayalitsha community toilet saga, the many on-going community based protests. The glaring lack of grasp of the plight of the poor of the Western Cape for the DA leadership. The ANC even at times proved a better student for beating the DA at its own game of running to courts and coming back with victories. 

 

The frustration for Helen Zille with the internal squabbles of succession demands. The toxic internal jostling for power by contending forces mirrored in liberal and conservative DA members who in recent months flared openly showing the chasms of a crested ideology divide. At times purely along ‘white’ and ‘black’ divide. A clear contestation for the soul of the DA.

 

The contestation for the soul of the DA in right and left wing of liberalism policy confusion of issues like BEE, Employment Equity and Affirmative Action which saw its leader having to clarify through first admitting error in lack of leadership grasp are the undeniable signs of a soft belly. The most recent rebuke from its former leader Tony Leon who rightly or wrongly still has a bone to pick with this current leadership.  

 

These and many other concomitant issues have rendered the DA a very vulnerable and less secured in approach of 2014 elections. 

 

Anyone who has studied Helen Zille will know she simply does not do well with sustained critique and pressure, therefore if you keep peppering her with critique she will at some point to relent, loose her cool, and react emotionally. When she resorts to her normal emotional response she is usually very careless and irrational rendering her to eventually having to apologise for foolish tweets or statements made.

 

The recent Saldanha outrage and walk out attest to my contention. Yet it also introduces us again to the poor in the Western Cape who with the relentless action and protests echoes the words of Rosa Parks of the Montgomery Bus boycott “my feets are tired.” 

 

Mrs. Zille the poor of the Western Cape’s feets are tired. When they see, the DA for who it as a predominantly liberal yet “white” wealth concentrated and interest based group organisation. Their feets are tired when they surmise the DA will never be able to understand neither serve the poor in basic amenities and afforded dignity for any attempt at doing is diametrically opposed the fundamental essence of who the DA is in its history, present and foreseeable future.

 

 

The ANC knows if they want to deal with the DA, they must upset Helen Zille because the DA is Helen and Helen is the DA. 

 

I’m saying this to say the Western Cape is up for grabs in colloquial sense because of the sterling work done so far in campaigning against a sitting leadership. Yet as we know now that is one side of the proverbial coin immanent in plausible victory.

 

 The other half is conscientious and strategic leadership. A leadership that is not making noise but working on changing lives through a meticulous plan that inculcates the various sectors of the Western Cape cognizant that it takes a village to raise a child. Present minded that leadership must balance the diverse sectors interest and can hardly afford to discount any sector in arrogance of we do not need them. 

 

 

Yet I ask again if the ANC leadership can rise beyond political rhetoric and lead the Western Cape for it is within its reach to take it. 

 

In my assessment victory is a matter of visionary and strategic leadership immanent in understanding it is more than just attacking the DA it is the ability to produce a sustainable plan unless we have just learnt to be oppositional. 

 

It is important to respect and acknowledge the Western Cape voters for they are the only province that has in post- Apartheid democracy literally shown both the ANC and the DA we will vote for you and against you. It is perhaps the only province that has truly exercised their democratic franchise to choose leaderships informed by their preference if the singular fact of past elections is the yardstick. I am not suggesting others did not; the point is the Western Cape unlike others has had both ANC and DA leaderships. Thus, nobody is guaranteed success in the Western Cape it remains for this reason a more sophisticated constituency to convince. This is a fundamental point to make and one less talked about or analysed.

 

The people of the Western Cape deserve constructive leadership that is poor – focused not just for electioneering fodder. 

 

The voters of the Western Cape needs decisive trusted leadership that is not just loud on petty coat issues but can intellectually engage to a betterment of the collective Western Cape.

 

The voters of the Western Cape deserve an ANC leadership that is principled and will discern the real constituency not factionalized pockets of leadership immanent in petty agendas and some who easily become inebriated on borrowed power. All power is borrowed therefore those you reject and mistook for nobodies may very possibly become your boss in the foreseeable future. 

 

If the ANC in the Western Cape is serious about taking the province from a vulnerable and wobbling DA leadership it must in reciprocity recognize Tripartite Alliance members and leaderships and forget the mundane personal politics of personalities.

 

The Tripartite Alliance in the Western Cape must find a way to deal with the often personality based cheap agendas that easily can beset it and quit assuming positions are forever defined by names. 

 

If the ANC in the Western Cape is serious about taking the 2014 elections it must become serious about the Pentecostal Christian Church as a significant constituency in the Western Cape and stop placing emphasis where it does not rightfully belong in religious assumption of minority definition. 

 

If the ANC in the Western Capes is serious about taking the province in leading it must recover unnecessary lost ground on the issue of the Khoi-San relevance. It failed to seize the opportune moment and perhaps did not take the various proposals submitted and advice offered because it had shown truculence in being decisive and strategic on the matter. 

 

We all know how conflated the Khoi-San issues are yet that cannot be an excuse for inaction on the part of the ANC in proving shy to lead lead this legitimate issue thus affording the Conservative Party of Mulder space to seize ground. It remains my sincere conviction that the Western Cape ANC leadership should have led the country in giving the ANC direction how to deal with the issue. If not leading it should have been bold enough to broach the subject in organisational setting. A clear missed opportunity. It even afforded space to the DA to raise the critical debate in which the ANC in Western Cape as elsewhere remain silent and lacklustre.

 

The ANC in the Western Cape failed in strategic sense to lead on the employment equity and labour parity issues for Coloureds who beyond any question remain a majority in the Western Cape. This issue could have been handled in partnership with its Tripartite Alliance Partner COSATU, if personalities could have remained focused on the greater goal.

 

The ANC Western Cape failed to ventilate the core issues this aspect raises until it afforded a self-centred Afri-Forum to defend Coloureds in Correctional Services and win significant cases in courts on behalf of a constituency the ANC easily must claim rightfully as theirs.

 

The Western Cape is up for grabs, but we need strategic and in touch leadership. Drumming up volunteers is crucial for any campaign yet what happens when the prize is won. Volunteerism gains momentum when leadership remains strategic and goal oriented and can show the path even when the shadows of nightfall winks.

 

 

I want the ANC to take the Province of my birth, Western Cape, but I have reservations if the challenges of yesteryear will not manifest again. The last time the ANC led, it was under a Rasool, it is clear we have two distinct and different in approach leaders between Rasool and Fransman. Some even talk about the ‘more-intellectual’ Rasool and the ‘more-populist’ Fransman. Yet I do not share these sentiments because I sincerely hold each leader has made his best contribution. I am of the view Fransman has done the spadework in attack and has led a strategic campaign that sees the DA’s knees buckling, therefore his legacy if the ANC wins in 2014 will be this excellent piece of work he did.  

 

I shall ask again can this leadership who fought so hard this last 4/5 years, who vociferously campaigned so strong and who has as it seems managed to prove the DA vulnerable raise the freedom it potentially will give birth to in April of 2014. For it is in pregnancy terms at least 4 months pregnant to deliver on the due date. 

 

Yet will this ANC –Western Cape leadership like the SACC also remain in the proverbial maternity ward when the child surnamed Freedom Western Cape steps out and find his own feet. Your guess, is as good as mine, I am not sure…. 

 

CNSR

12/11/2013

No Dali Mpofu, you left the ANC!

 

– In response to Dali Mpofu’s claim, the ANC left him-

 

 

Paging through the newspapers and flipping through the Television channels I could not help asking myself, do we really need this extended version of interviews splashed all over as to why Dali Mpofu a business man not a politician left the ANC. I must admit I had to force myself to respond, because it almost lends credence to the significance of Mpofu, which in my assessment remains a misplaced claim.

 

Now Dali Mpofu tells us he did not leave the ANC the ANC left him. What diatribe? 

 

Last time I checked Mpofu was never a senior ANC politician with a constituency of his own. He was and ordinary member who unlike reported joined the ANC in 1990 a far cry from the 33 years advanced by a lusty media.

 

I shall hasten to advance that Mpofu had leaving the ANC on his mind for a long time, essentially from the time he mistook his role as lawyer of the then ANCYL President Julius Malema and others and lost the cases in what I wrote, a travesty of legal advice given to  his client. I still hold his defense in both the case and the appeal was bereft of any substantial legal base and bordered on utter conjecture. He led his clients down a confused path of denying a case informed by political rhetoric of victimisation yet whilst equally advancing a case in mitigation of sentence. Anyone who knows the basics of law would tell you when you lead evidence in mitigation of sentence you have implicitly conceded the case made against you.

 

It is my opinion that these cases were not only about Malema and Co, but it came innately as Mpofu driven wrongly or rightly from his personal convictions. When I argue his representation of his clients it is not to deny him the right to defend anyone even ANC members but his blurred paradigm of what constitutes a case in which he was a defense lawyer and his personal political opinions of ANC leadership and direction. This he took very personal, for appears to have left a severe dent to his personal ego, something he simply cannot overcome. 

 

Mpofu was fighting the ANC Leadership from within using the cases at hand as his battle-axe. Mpofu is a benefactor of the very ANC who has entrusted him from time to with assignments and has equally benefitted economically from this his ANC membership. Nothing wrong with that for that appears custom, yet all his errors such is how he led the SABC at the time was forgiven him as he re-crafted himself into a modern day human rights attorney. It is difficult not to see a political agenda in Mpofu’s actions and utterances.

 

To hear him now remonstrate the ANC left him rings hollow, because he proved a politician when he  addressed “his” claimed Marikana crowds and “constituency”. Marikana with all its ugliness for some like Mpofu became an avenue and corridor to advance a political career mistaking the pain of the moment as opportune and fertile soil for his personal ambitions.

 

I do not deny him the right to have such political ambition because that is his prerogative yet, he cannot be afforded a right to pretend seniority in the ANC that warrants the attention the media who is broke in a next newsmakers since Malema want to give him.

 

The media that currently cuds on this non-historic news report of Mpofu leaving is merely starving substantial stories against the ANC and is blazoning their newspapers as if Mpofu presides over a significance mirrored in an ANC constituency. 

 

I welcome his departure, not in a myopic sense because it was a foregone conclusion that he will move as the political developments of an EFF formation took shape. Again that in a constitutional democracy is his right and prerogative. One cannot directly accuse him for being part of the EFF  FORMATION strategy yet we also cannot count him out of such strategy from inception. You would imagine a Juju seeking his counsel in making a decision launch the EFF.

 

 

Reading the City Press article spanning two pages we are essentially introduced to Mpofu. I could have sworn this was an interview to introduce Mpofu to its readers. Besides introducing us to his upbringing in Mdantsane East London, and when he first came to Johannesburg which the City Press gives him more than ample front page on the Voices section, his fundamental reason for leaving the ANC (which one must search for amidst his subliminal campaign to get known by readers) remains his belief that “the country is being taken to an ideological cul de sac paved with neoliberal and dangerously unsustainably right wing policy options”. 

 

This mouthful untested opinion, which he acknowledges with no coercion from anyone in his dovetailed assertion that reads, “I may be completely wrong, but I truly believe this to be so.” Is more of a tongue twister than what it is substantial in meaning?

 

He in an upfront sense disarms us to concretely engage you on an opinion that you concede you could be completely wrong about. We must deduce from this that Mpofu lacks prove the factuality of his assertion in supplying corroborative evidence for his conclusive and concretised beliefs. If he contends, he could be completely wrong it may mean he had not fully applied his mind and tested his claims yet he asserts conclusively. This is less normal for a legal practitioner who deals with cases informed by evidence based on analytical and critical thinking. In the absence of this evidence, we must deduce his decision is informed by sentiment. Perhaps an emerging trademark.

 

The second leg of his belief is rooted in the now common social change discourse where he advances the citizenry should play a central role in which the debate according to him should centre on the role the state should play versus the role citizenry should play. 

 

Firstly, this is not a new debate, and one that Mamphele Ramphele raised in her up run to launch Agang-SA. The premise is exactly the same, and the conclusions are equally the same.

 

The fundamental error Mpofu commits is to assume there is no discourse on these matters, equally to what extend these engagements are already catered for and ventilates in our political ideological context. Another challenge with his observation vacillates in error on a misplaced perception in which he naturally assumes the State the enemy of the citizenry. He shares with Ramphele this confused denialist tendency to assume the ANC as leading party is devoid of these on-going discourses that permeates through its structures the same that already shapes our current context. 

 

Perhaps fundamentally what his mouthful of ‘neoliberal right wing’ diatribe claim glaringly hides is a view on the existing leadership immanent in its elected president as ruling the ANC as a claimed dictator. This also is not a new contention because his client Malema advanced periodically this in his many utterances. Perhaps again, he shares the ideological premise of this thought again this may be totally untested particularly for those who claim to know the ANC. 

 

I have a challenge with those who raises this dictator stance, because whilst it is fundamentally aimed as an attack on the leadership it in reality insults the ANC in elected leadership, structures through its thinking membership that deliberates and concludes from an informed position. The ANC is a collective and this presidency has been accused of consulting too much. 

 

In a sense his right wing neoliberal ideology claim, is rooted in what is a claim of the likes of Irvin Jim of NUMSA in regards to the National Development Plan. It thus becomes difficult not to categorize your views as unfounded in fact bereft of testing necessarily a mouthful of jargon that says very little if dissected because the article remains opaque on worthwhile substance to engage him.

 

As a businessman that have plied his legal trade in Post-Apartheid context, I fear no contradiction to advance that you benefitted grossly from the very legislation frameworks of the ANC you perhaps now in blighted sense challenge. His other business interests attest to the reality of this conflation.

 

What Mpofu fails to tell us is exactly when these tendencies of ‘neoliberal right-wing’ slide in ideology began. I shall save you the conundrum of explaining the obvious in answering myself, from Polokwane if not very recent as to be expected. 

 

Perhaps the most pungent of your observations in your interview is the fact that you concede the EFF will not change the political landscape but will attempt coalitions with others as means of effecting the change. This literally means he hinges EFF’s success in elections on a dodgy platform of coalitions. We remain left in the dark as to these coalitions with opposition parties.

 

As important, the issue of economic redress remains the EFF simply have not understood nor grappled with the core issues in policy articulation. The economic redress remains a critical aspect of our discourse, yet it cannot be loose statement informed by crowd sentiment, but it must find meaning in structured solutions conscious of our current and past realities. The truth is neither the EFF or any other party will be able to challenge to context of ANC policy formulation thus it is the wrong place to play for an untested power of a new entity given birth to informed by personality be it a dislike of a Zuma or person name Malema.

 

The relevance of the party must rise above the presence of an existing ANC president, hence if he is made the reason for it, when he leaves, what happens to this party? Equally in SA parties formed with personalities of individuals as base, simply do not do well as the many in our scope of opposition shows.

 

A careful look at Mpofu’s new political home shows that except for a minuscule (3 Representatives) UDM he  cannot count on any other opposition parties.  The EFF leader in confused rants have send such confusing and less structured thoughts on an approach that the EFF in some opposition circles is considered almost diabolical. 

 

In the end Dali, you left the ANC because the ANC could not give you what you became immanent in your own thinking.

 

  • You left the ANC because you have confused the case of a client for a personal campaign.

 

  • You left the ANC because you have become obsessed with a need not to heal from hurt in loss of cases of your clients against the organization. 
  • You left the ANC because you perhaps personalized the then Youth League leadership cases as your defining moment in which you saw the script unfolding differently.

 

  • You left the ANC because you want to blame the ANC for the Marikana saga, though we all know that Marikana was a labour issue that had gone horribly wrong which in turn became a tragedy for all of us.

 

  • You left the ANC because the ANC refused to entertain being drawn into Marikana except for solving the created crises. 

 

  • You left the ANC because your case to keep the president and government accountable to pay for legal fees for people who must participate in a Commission and not a Trial Case, failed (although the recent ruling was in your favour the very ruling is being appealed as we speak).

 

  • You left the ANC when you at the Farlam Commission often attempted to overplay your legal hand, and had to be reminded by the sitting Chairperson it is not acceptable. As you threatened departure in attention seeking form.

 

  • You left the ANC because you confused the tragedy of a Marikana for a political campaign.

 

  • You left the ANC because for the first time you perhaps realized you simply do not hold this power or status that you claimed by default. 

 

The ANC left no one, it is where you left it and others before you thus enjoy your new political home and spend the time developing the strategy to unseat the ANC, which by itself remains a dream, and then again, we are all afforded space and time to dream. You live your dream, do not make the ANC a nightmare when you dreaming it. 

 

Respectfully submitted

Clyde N. S. Ramalaine

Reality TV Show: ‘Preachers of LA’ – A Perspective

–          In response to Bishop Noel Jones’ Interviews –

 

It was only a matter of time before preachers would be on reality TV. Recently we were introduced to the first episodes of Preachers of LA, in their various personal settings. The show ‘‘Preachers of LA’ is advertised as a Docu series perhaps a more sophisticated name for what is commonly referred to as reality TV’.

 

The show invites its audience into the private off the stage lives of the preachers who are on varying degrees regarded as “stars” of the preaching circuit. It is important to make the distinction of various degrees because firstly, not all featured are pastors secondly and not all are that popular.

 

Like most Reality TV – Shows it is bound to hone by virtue of editing on the sensational unexpected acts of these men of the cloth their families and their associations, in keeping the interest afloat. I am not privy to how much the preachers are paid for this and maybe it does not even matter in the greater scheme of things, because they have a right to legally earn whatever they do.

 

There has been much outcry from some in condemning the show for a variety of reasons. These vary from a blatant show off bling, luxurious accoutrements, lives of opulence etc, to the things aired as the spoken words of the preachers, including actions on the set. Fellow preachers had to find ways to explain themselves financially in the wake of the show’s arrival.

 

Subsequent to the cross-section of responses to the show, some participants have responded in attempt of clarifying their positions, convictions, and raison detre for participating in the show.

 

One such response came from Bishop Noel Jones, Pastor of City of Refuge Church of Gardena California. I will attempt to engage Bishop Jones on his responses to the varied outcries. It is also appropriate to respond to Jones because, he ensembles the modern-day ‘eagle of preaching’ in Black Circuit Television in the USA and is world renown much more than all the other participants, who are really LA based preachers to varying degrees. Jones graces pulpits of many conferences, convocations, church gatherings seminars etc. He also travels extensively and is a reputed international preacher.

 

 

It may be worthwhile to first attempt a dissecting of what I shall call the psychology of perhaps a Jones. Yet most who know Jones would concede he is in a sense a simple unassuming character who seldom wants fanfare and can easily sit in a crowd without being noticed. An avid chess player and one who loves a good debate, he would debate anything and roar with laughter as he broaches  and treads subjects most will never go. Jones who is of a renown intellectual gifting, crowned with an extensive vocabulary and a epistemology of admiration. He  is unique since his insatiable passion for intellectual stimulation and his reading of a crossbreed of intellectuals and theologians on a multiplicity of subjects concerning the Christian Faith makes him for some unparalleled in presentation of the homily. I must admit I was personally surprised to have seen him as part of the cast, yet I was not shocked.

 

Such is the candour of Jones that I often regard him as perhaps more accessible than other less known for preaching on the circuit. Jones is not your typically flamboyant bling- bling personality and almost appears a contrast of the intellectual and the Hollywood-star. He seldom is seen with the typical security detail that others have become notorious and defend as necessary. When most roam around with bodyguards in the ilk of Men In Black stance, Jones would often walk into a gathering by himself and take a backseat. He prefers a trademark jumper-suit for preaching less with bling defined.

 

Jones in his grasp on preaching in engaging him proves very rational about the separation of God and the Preacher. His stance is not a simplistic one but one that is deeply rooted in contemplation and proven thought consideration.

 

Jones is known for saying and readily admitting he like all preachers are flawed. I am in agreement with Jones on the flawed state of all preachers, and think anyone denying that lives in a fool’s paradise. The best of those who grace pulpits have an innate flaw, which according to us the audience should disqualify them from being called to preach, yet that very flawed state appears the contention when it raises its head in stark contrast to the call. A calling exacted less by them but by the ONE who called them. Yet perhaps 2 Corinthians 4: 7 underscores the fallibility and easily broken state of the ones who are called to preach as opposed to what they carry. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and no of us.” There is equally no short supply of biblical characters assigned with critical responsibilities that showed this flawed contrast.

 

I shall advance to argue Jones have and always will wrestle with the stardom of his call, as he puts it “people put you on pedestals.” This wrestling is perhaps rooted in this that fundamentally he does not embrace at a mental level the reality of his personal impact defined through ministry. It is as if it has not fully sunk and perhaps never will because his mind on such does not allow him to make that crossover like so many have by assuming their stardom and demigod status.  In conversation with Jones you are never too far from the reality of this innate struggle.

 

My hypothesis is Jones at his age over 60 feels he is grown and old enough to be real with all. I am comfortable to assume he would never have done this twenty years earlier. In a sense he is saying I have earned the right to be this controversial. It is almost as if he is persuaded that the church and the world needs to know we are ordinary as preachers we wrestle like all others and we make mistakes and can never be equated with the preached Word. His premise is if we as church can enjoy a biblical figure like David, who is known for his multi-flawed state, readily quote his psalms, and accept that God pronounced him “a man after my own heart” why cannot we accept that preachers are flawed and struggle in many ways yet celebrate their work of ministry. He plays on this hypocrisy of those of the Christian Faith who embraces David but find it difficult to embrace others of similar flawed status.

 

This reasoning is not necessarily flawed because it pleads for seeing preachers less as demi-gods but ordinary people. He advocates for us to appreciate the distinction between the one who exacts the call (who is perfect) and the one who is called in imperfection, less by his own volition.

 

Whilst the psychology or the premise for this is palatable for me, yet that is where it stops. 

 

My challenge is not us nay saying or denying our individual flawed states, my challenge is not even the definitive distinction in paradigm and essence of preacher and God. My challenge is why we think it even remotely appropriate to parade our flaws in a sense of celebrated achievements. 

 

It should be that our recognised flawed state must prove a humbling aspect of our call. The same, which we may never reach a place where we equate ourselves in any, shape size or form to HIM who exacted the call. It must render us perpetually humbling and constantly mindful of how unworthy we are in mercy embrace.

 

Our flawed states should drive us to a deeper search of God, and an almost hiding in HIM, as opposed to be shown off in star achievement claim. 

 

The show therefore cannot take its yardstick from the secular standard in which Jay – Zee, P-Diddy etc in lifestyle and opulence and success is emulated as the standard. The truth is the Church of Jesus Christ regardless to how we preach will never be a gathering of super wealthy billionaires, in which opulence becomes ordinary.

 

To therefore advance a view that ‘I preach prosperity because I believe it as for all’ is no corroborating evidence that opulence mirrored in Hollywood success as the standard is the standard for the church. When I raise it here it is not in romanticising poverty as the dictum for the Christian not at all, yet it is to be conscious the world in which we are called to proclamate remains the antithesis of what was a paradise of Eden embrace. It is this broken and corrupt world in which the King of Salvation chose to reveal HIMSELF. It is against the backdrop of this fallen state that HE articulated ‘you will always have the poor with you..’ This is no defence for a doctrine of poverty because that would be utter scriptural rape, but it articulates a reality of poverty expected by Jesus Christ to be prevalent beyond HIS earthly ministry.

 

Equally, as preachers we must prove circumspect to be considerate to others. Not only does the display of an embraced and praxis of opulence flies in the face of the very audience of preaching, it also casts a conflated image on why we preach. It was the scholar Bornkamm who helped us understood repentance when he articulates repentance in saying “to lay hold on the salvation which is already at hand, and to give up everything for it”. Again I shall ask of my colleagues of Preachers of LA what part of the giving up of everything did we not understand until we in blighted sense protest this giving up of self.

 

The challenge therefore resonates in this that whilst the protagonists of this ‘come see us for who we are – as ordinary flawed people’ argue for a distinction between God and the preacher, this type of show puts the preacher as the centre of attention and naturally reduces the God of the preacher to a secondary level. Exactly what the protagonists supposedly argue should not happen.  

Is it perhaps not opportune to once again reflect on the words of the German theologian and scholar, Dietrich Bonhoeffer when he unequivocally declares ” when Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die”. What do we make of this clarion call to self death and denial when we today in stark contrast to this death protests to live in celebration of our flaws.

 

My final point is perhaps the implied understanding and interpretation of preaching as what I do for a living or an in colloquial sense a job, versus an exacted call. Off course there exists a natural dialectic tension between my job as a preacher and my call, which often renders one confused. Yet what is undeniable is the work of a preacher in prognostication  of the WORD is not ordinary and nor is it a vocation the preacher chose for a career. My experience has been most of us did not want this calling exacted against our lives without our permission. In my personal case, I just wanted to be an attorney and God found it fit to manifest an exacted a call less based on my preference but HIS choice. This makes the preaching assignment a different vocation and distinct from any other.

 

You almost get the sense that for the ‘Preachers of LA’, preaching is what they do as a job separate from who they are, and therefore the job requires certain things for the time of the job, but once they leave the pulpit, they are no more the preacher.

It is right here that the words of Charles Spurgeon rings true ‘for the herald of the gospel to be spiritually out of order in his own person is both to himself and to his work, a most serious calamity’ Let us also not hasten to critique a Spurgeon but glean from this mouthful exemplifying a challenge for all who share the privilege of preaching. I still contend ‘preaching is not my right, I was privileged to preach’ (cnsr)

 

We simply cannot afford to attempt a hiding behind – I am human – , for the GRACE encountered demands of us a changed life evidence in lifestyle. Such changed lifestyle comes embodied in an acceptance that the Christ who encountered me in Salvation necessitates a change in walk and practice, otherwise salvation in manifestation change is not a reality. This means we continue in the state before we were encountered and yet we attest to changed lifestyle.

 

Therefore, whilst I agree that we as preachers are all flawed and in a sense works- in- progress we must never reach the place where we resign to our flawed state in attempt a celebration of such.

I therefore cannot accept the show as beneficial for the advancement of the Kingdom of God, nor as beneficial to any of those in the cast (except for a few extra dollars) but necessarily a burden placed upon all preachers as co- labourers in a called VINEYARD.

The show thus us is in bad taste, and should not live through more than one series, and pray that those who participated in it come to see the burden their participation brings to bear.

 

Respectfully submitted

 

Bishop Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

November 6, 2013