To recall or not perhaps the wrong call!
It is said history repeats itself the first time in tragedy and the second in a farce. To recall is the drumbeat of some as January 2014, unfolds.This is the much publicized and vocalized debate in shades of murmur and public claim. Analysts sing this melody in advice to the ANC, their claim a recall will be good for the ANC.
The context for this recall claim in this season attests a conflicting premise.
I shall categorically advance here and now that when the ANC decided to recall Mbeki, it blundered. It did not blunder because Mbeki was right, it blundered not because there were no serious clouds gathering in a leadership that proved hostile, aloof and perhaps allergic to critique. Neither because there existed in the praxis for some legitimate grounds for such recall.
It blundered because it did not allow time to think about the ramifications for this organisation in stability, congruence, and visionary outlook.There was serious discontentment perhaps legitimate and perhaps driven by conjecture. Usually when the noise starts, it becomes difficult to discern between fact and fiction and the booing becomes the barometer of discontent.
Yet the ANC should never have recalled Mbeki, singularly because it rendered a fragile ANC more vulnerable and susceptible to agendas not welcomed in the ANC.The recalling of an Mbeki rendered the organisation in chasms of factions that always existed but not to the public degrees made visible in the ANC and its tripartite alliance.
In this season, there are again those who remonstrate, lobby, and motivate for a recall of another sitting president.
Whilst as in the case of Mbeki there were legitimate and emotional reasons for such, the ANC should have learned that recalling presidents does not help the movement but renders it weaker in the collective of its root cause.
Those obsessed with a recalling commit four errors:
Firstly, they failed to do an organizational analysis of the ANC pre and post recall of its sitting SA presidency. It did not ask for its hegemony index and thus its capacity to deliver with a fractured leadership adored by some and despised by others.
Secondly, they in convenience of comfort assume no collective responsibility for the mess the ANC finds itself. These have champions in the top leadership who are not held accountable instead; some are seen as the correct replacements for the sitting president. If we recall how this is done that when the organisation is run on a collective leadership as its guiding philosophy and praxis. Where is the joint responsibility of elected officials who defines this presidency?
Thirdly, they also fail to appreciate the material conditions for such recall is not exemplified in ANC presidency but in SA presidency thus a recall of the elected ANC president. Unlike the time with Mbeki in 2008 who at that the time of his recall was no longer the ANC president this new mooted recall will prove much more cumbersome and even more destructive to this movement.
In the fourth instance the propagators of recall does not sing from the same hymn.
There are quartets who sing from a forever-bruised image and ego of a past Polokwane, these want a recall of revenge, and will be happy with nothing less.
Secondly, there are those who hummm from a claim of mixed former ANCYL leadership embrace these have not yet made peace with the fact that that chapter is closed.
Then there are those who drums recall, from outside the ANC, be it analysts, media formations and the open letter brigade who almost wants to blackmail the ANC into doing what pleases them, blanketed in claim it is good for the ANC. The strange contradiction is they did not and will not in the foreseeable future vote ANC.
The ANC would have learned grave lessons from a Polokwane and a subsequent Mbeki recall, not because again Polokwane was wrong neither because Mbeki at the time inspired collective leadership but because the organisation in health suffered gravely and it has not healed from that pain until this time.
A recall is therefore not an emotional decision you assume in claim if we can just replace so and so with this one or that one and all will be smooth- sailing.
If the latter is the aim perhaps, we have missed again the issue of the collective healing of the organisation we claim to love to wither the challenges of this time.
It remains thus a short-sighted call for recall informed by emotion.
The ANC is more important than anyone is or individual we must desist creating an impression of two or three ANC’s.
If we seek to make recall our means of dealing with organisational fractures and chasms, we shall have these occur more as a norm than a phenomenon.
In the end to recall or not recall is not a decision in the interest of the organisation.