Our departed ancestors must truly be turning in their graves at what is left of the movement for which they sacrificed the prime of their lives. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the ANC has lost all moral standing in our society and can no longer be considered a leader of society.
As we walk the corridors of Nasrec we have a choice to make - much like our ancestors decades ago - to submit or fight. Submit to the grip of state and organisational capture or to fight to save what is left of the breath of our movement. So far the signs are not good. Our leaders have so far failed us in leading the critical charge to introspect.
Since the August election bloodbath, the national executive committee has failed dismally to lead us in the path of self-correction. Ever since the terrible losses we suffered in the metros we seem paralysed, comrades. The leadership has failed dismally to rein in rogue elements who have given the movement a bad name.
Just last week, the auditor-general once again reminded us of the utter waste of money by our deployees in various departments and municipalities.
We are in crisis mode always if Prasa, SAA and Eskom are anything to go by. To pretend the ANC is not in a crisis would be to fool ourselves, my dear comrades. All the signs of the centre not holding are there and we are a movement at war with itself. What saddened me even more was to see our top six leadership failing to speak with one voice, and some of them defying organisational discipline and flaunting their own rules. Comrades, this is unacceptable.
The diagnosis rests on the following three observations that we should all make: the collapse of the state, the stench of corruption and the height of mistrust among our leadership.
All are worsened by the cancer of factionalism and the use of patronage by those who have been elected to positions of power and influence.
Collapse of capacity in the state: the ANC promised a better life for all when it assumed power in 1994. Its key instrument to deliver such a promise is, among others, a well-functioning state. The chaos in our municipal government departments and parastatals has crippled our movement’s ability to keep this simple promise. At the heart of this failure is the misalignment between ANC policies and the implementation strategies of our deployees.
The economy is at an all-time low, with a recession upon us following the reckless actions of our president and the entire leadership. If truth be told, our movement is a laughing stock all around the world and as a result the state is on its knees. As we assess the health of our beloved movement we can’t be oblivious to these realities.
The black paint of a corrupted movement. It’s not a surprising narrative any more that our movement is described as corrupt to the core. Whether it's our ANCYL being implicated in the Gupta e-mails or our ministers being summoned to Saxonworld, the stories are endless, embarrassing and paint a picture of corruption as our modus operandi.
A culture of mistrust at the highest levels: the fact that our veterans have not been given a hearing is an indictment of our leadership. The leaders of our leagues are at war with each other, further sending a wrong signal to society. Our alliance partners have joined civil society in condemning our leadership and calling for the president to resign.
This conference finds our tripartite alliance in shambles. It’s unprecedented, comrades, and there seems to be nothing that can fix the mess - our leaders have failed us.
We have a choice this weekend to submit to these ills or stand up and be counted as we fight them off. If we leave Nasrec with a business as usual posture, we are doomed as a movement . The EFF and DA are on our tail appealing to the hopelesness of our people. Can we afford to brush aside this crisis and place our heads in the sand?
I say no, comrades! Let us rise up and act. That way we can emerge stronger together!
Yours comradely, Lebo Keswa
* Keswa is a businesswoman and she writes in her personal capacity.
Follow her on Twitter: @lebokeswa
The Sunday Independent