Advice or counsel is a necessary intervention in our daily lives as human beings. We often listen to counsel and are helped by it, yet counsel or advise is also relationship informed. It would be difficult to justify any advice defenders of apartheid proffer to victims of apartheid.
In the aftermath of the now snippets (the fullness of this not known or tested as yet) of revelations of the Gupta influence on the State immanent in a word not yet defined but bandied around of “state capture”, the ANC in this season is finding itself advised, by a crossbreed of groups. I do think we need to unpack this term “state capture” but that is for another time.
Advice is flying around hard and fast facilitated by sectors of the media. The ANC has in this season never looked more vulnerable as leading party than this hour. Never before has the ANC appeared this forced to listen to advise by those who exert themselves over what they have deemed a week ANC. It is as if the ANC is under siege if not constipated with advice from antithetical groups with diverse political agendas.
When so much advise and counsel is offered it can render one confused, hence it becomes important how the ANC entertain or pay attention to the advice extended.
Our context is further made volatile with a combination of an up and coming municipal elections and the ever lurking threat of junk status downgrade from rating agencies, critical agenda items for the last NEC meeting.
Is it possible that not all advice freely offered and demanded as extended to the ANC in this season is devoid of contamination?
It is perhaps important to dissect the sources of ANC advise in this season: Of those who feel it their right to advise the ANC in this season we find:
- The opposition parties led by the DA and EFF is all about effecting leadership change in the ANC through a consistent campaign of attack on the top six leaders as a collective with their primary focus the ANC’s president. It is no secret that this getting the ANC president removed has become the practical manifestos of these opposition parties.
- The media has made its own contribution to advise the ANC. We know that some parts of the media is the unofficial voice of opposition, the media has waged their concerted effort consumed to blackmail the ANC into doubt of its leadership.
- Veterans are an important group of an organization because it normally represents history, values and counsel. Yet in our conflated season and time laced with economic grip it also includes those who are not exempted from their own political agendas that in no other season had a felt a need to direct the NEC.
- Some in this group have had little if any regard for the collective ANC leadership elected in its last two elective conferences. We know this from looking at an aggregate of their opinion pieces and analysis freely published. Yet they too today seek to direct the ANC in its choices of leadership.
- Of those who in this day offer advice are former cabinet members of the Zuma administration who have been off-loaded for one or other reason. As fired ministers it is difficult to understand their advice devoid from considering also personal interest a sense of being aggrieved.
2008 Recall Hangover group
- Some who cannot get over a deployed SA president 2008 recall and will not rest until old scores are settled. As often as the ANC categorically regretted this unfortunate incident in its past, these campaigners for a revenge will not rest. Hence their advice is simple recall this ANC president and we settle scores.
Ex – MK
- MK the gallant past military wing of the ANC in this season is hardly a coherent group of ex-soldiers but in this season represents fragmented individuals who speak in divergent sense on behalf of a claimed collective of a historic MK. Many of these individuals today claim a larger than live relevance. Some of these are now demanding new leadership. We must assume this leadership to mean all elected officials at the ANC 2012 elective conference held at Mangaung.
White Capital – Interest
- Capita, yes even colonial and apartheid benefactor capital has equally in this season considered it their right advice the ANC.
With all this “advice” however coached the ANC appears vulnerable and thrust in a landmine littered field in which at anytime an explosion is possible.
The ANC must be very careful how they deal or entertain this advice from a crossbreed of groups with definite political interest.
If the ANC chooses to listen to all in this season it may surrender itself to be controlled by external diverse agendas that will deem it their right continue demanding to be listened to in the future.
Listening to this type of advice will make a mockery of those who trust the ANC in ballot. For if the ANC can listen to those who oppose it to influence it in choice of leadership it will fail not do so in the future.
The ANC must desist the easy way out to assess the choices currently bandied around, it must carefully deal with this landmine littered land of political agendas that in this season manifest as good advise.
Easy choices that attest “recall or fire a president and our problems are solved” are simply not sustainable. For this type of advice is not sensitive to the reality of how capital has infiltrated the ANC since the times of the first engagement with capital before it took power.
The ANC owes it to itself to honestly reflect on the role of capital throughout its 22 years of governance. It must ask itself how its leaders many who never were entrepreneurs became wealthy and to what extend this wealth has created an unintended buffer zone for capital to control the ANC.
The ANC did not arrive here overnight the fullness of this moment visiting upon us necessitates upon the ANC to make wise choices. Choices that may appear selfish but if it’s to preserve the ideals, values and core of its 104 year struggle and vision it warrants to rise above the noise and deal with the critical issues at hand.
Just merely caving in to pressure in this created moment will leave the ANC weak and irrelevant in a future.
Whatever choices are made cannot be emotional, factional driven, or in appeasement of make belief constituencies. Tripartite alliance members cannot lead; it has to be ANC choices.
The ANC must remain true to its voters and regard all less but it’s voters. It must engage its branches and listen to those who vote for it in trust of delivering the ideals its liberation mandate.
Lastly the “soul” of the ANC so often talked about is in season attempted as located outside the ANC with those who feel it their right to advise it be it in force advise or demands made by some from inside.
I hold the hope that sense will prevail and that choices the ANC a party I vote for makes prove not emotional, thoroughly thought through for the ramifications of these will live with the ANC and all of us for much longer than is currently imagined.
Clyde N.S. Ramalaine
An ANC Voter