– 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.
Clyde N. S. Ramalaine