ANC's foes rise up

By Mahap Msiza

Disgruntled ANC leaders, including former ministers and deputy ministers who quit after Thabo Mbeki was fired as president of South Africa, are planning a new convention or "consultative" conference to determine the future of South Africa.

Former defence minister Terror Lekota - on Wednesday during a press briefing - said that the ANC has failed the population by deviating from the founding principles of the ANC.

Some of these principles raised during the briefing were tribalism in the organisation, violence and collection of weapons, elimination of internal democracy, elevation of individual interests, deviation from the Freedom Charter and the deviation from the country's Constitution.

In a few week's time these dissapointed individuals will convene a "national convention" to determine how it can influence the political spectrum.

It is not yet clear whether the disgruntled members will form a new party.

While these individuals are reported to have already acknowledged that the ANC will win the coming elections, the question is how much support the ANC has? Also, is it a foregone conclusion that the ANC will win?

ANC President Jacob Zuma reportedly told a business dinner on Tuesday that any split with the ruling party would be short-lived.

Mosiuoa Lekota and other ANC members loyal to former president Thabo Mbeki, who the party forced to resign, argue - just like Robert Sobukwe did in 1958 - that the leaders of the party have abandoned the founding principles of the movement.

Some sceptics are already saying that if the disgruntled members form a new party the new party's painful realisation that the movement has been betrayed is five decades late.

The first leadership crisis in the ANC was the split by a group of individuals who went on to form the PAC.

Sobukwe, founder of the PAC, was once a staunch member of the Youth League of the African National Congress while still a student at the University of Fort Hare.

Like Julius Malema, Sobukwe grew increasingly militant and broke up ranks with the ANC in 1958. In 1959 he was one of the founders of the PAC, and he served as its first president. The PAC argued that the ANC had lost touch with the needs of the black majority.

The second one - although under different circumstances - resulted in the formation of the UDM by Bantu Holomisa.


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