Former president Jacob Zuma's supporters protesting against his arrest at his Nkandla homestead. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA).
Former president Jacob Zuma's supporters protesting against his arrest at his Nkandla homestead. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA).

SA has a leadership crisis and the ANC’s factionalism is aggravating the problem

By Opinion Time of article published Jul 3, 2021

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It is said that history has a way of repeating itself and that we as a nation, are no doubt standing at another Rubicon moment, in so many ways.

Whilst battling so may challenges as a nation, with a huge sword of a Covid pandemic, just not leaving the ice cold grip on the world and South Africa locking down, the roar of violence and calls for war, clearly now upstages the pandemic. As the country held its breath, on awaiting the Constitutional Court’s decision to either ignore the protection of our justice system, or send former President Zuma to jail for contempt of court, the war mongers were preparing.

How odd that I found the messages on social media, calling MK veterans to unite and defy the rule of law and stand to protect a now convicted citizen Zuma. The fact that I, being an ex member of MK and indeed a member of the struggle, seeing these calls, found its mere suggestion, ridiculous and totally out of order. I found that it is indeed odd that the very same institution, which fought for freedom and lost so many in the struggle and ensuring that this very constitution became reality, now calls for it to be defied.

I noted, that on speaking to many comrades, that they themselves admitted it to be a farce and indeed bordering on treason. There remains one defence force and indeed one army and that is the SANDF. What we now find is that after the MK veterans started screaming defiance, it spurred on the emotions of certain conservative militarists and indeed pre ’94 military veterans, to voice their contempt on the issue. This has now again brought our nation backwards 27 years and again we have a nation more divided than ever.

Justice must be an equaliser and must have no preference on class, race or individuality. Justice must be blind to these differences and must be for all. The fact that former President Zuma remains also a citizen, makes the judgement of the Concourt even more critical. The calls from MK factions and indeed persons close to JZ, with mentioning the words “ WAR “, is in our current nation’s mood of anger, loss of hope and fear, very irresponsible and no doubt a massive concern to the normal peaceful citizens of Msanzi.

The current absolute failure in leadership and utterly rudderless governance of our people, has escalated the sensitivities in our country. Continued news of corruption, theft, state capture and disregard for law and order, has made this matter of Zuma, even a larger bitter pill to swallow. The ANC, with its huge split in leadership structures and the continued bitter infighting, with the now dissolving of MKMVA, has just made this factional positioning worse. The fact that all these matters are coming to a head, clearly must make the current president feel utterly helpless and not in control. The fact is that we now need a strong leader, a leader that will stand up and lead a nation, not a party. This is very much the challenge that current President Cyril Ramaphosa faces.

Surely this is not the legacy of the founder and first commander of MK, Nelson Mandela. The fact is that we face now in the following few days, a huge judgment on the government and police system and even more so, the police. Again we will face serious decisions and we must rise above a few, who want to advance their own personal gains. There is though a silver lining in the dark cloud and this is that the majority of our people want peace and want a country of hope. The dream of a rainbow nation is still alive in the hearts of many, and this will remain the hope, that we will not allow the few to destroy the many dreams of a great South Africa being great again!

* Dr Neil De Beer is an ex-MK member and current President of Investment Fund Africa.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL.


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