Msimang resignation a sign of a morally deteriorated ANC

ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang has resigned from the ruling party, citing corruption as one of the reasons behind his decision. l DUMISANI SIBEKO

ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang has resigned from the ruling party, citing corruption as one of the reasons behind his decision. l DUMISANI SIBEKO

Published Dec 10, 2023


THE resignation of ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang has been described as a sign that the governing party has morally deteriorated.

Political analysts said this showed that the ANC had turned into a home for criminals who operated on behalf of organised crime.

Msimang, also the deputy president of the ANC Veterans League, tendered his resignation this week.

After he played a role in the downfall of former president Jacob Zuma and endorsed and campaigned for President Cyril Ramaphosa during his first term, he this week criticised the ANC as having enabled corruption and of being led by corrupt individuals.

He said this had devastating consequences for the governance of the country and the lives of poor people.

Just hours before Msimang’s resignation letter was made public, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said, during a press briefing, that the party’s veterans were attacking the leadership on a daily basis. He called on the veterans to stop “de-campaigning” for the ANC and work through the organisation's structures.

In a statement released after his resignation, ANC spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, said the party noted Msimang’s resignation and reiterated the party’s call on the veterans to stop “de-campaigning” for the ANC.

Msimang had been a vocal critic of his party, lending his voice on matters pertaining to corruption and its harmful by-products of nepotism and incompetence over the decades.

The ruling party has also been severely criticised by former president Thabo Mbeki, who has been vocal about the Ramaphosa-led national executive committee failing to live up to its resolutions about the party’s renewal.

Political analyst and governance expert, Sandile Swana, said Msimang’s resignation was an indication that the ANC no longer represented Struggle heroes such as Oliver Tambo and others.

Instead, Swana said, the party was now the home of criminals who operated on behalf of organised crime for corporations, big businesses, and many corrupt senior comrades.

“The ANC is a continuing criminal enterprise, and any activities that you are involved in in the ANC can only serve to fool the public. If you are Mavuso Msimang, and you are a person who considers himself to be honest and all that, (all) you are doing is to legitimise the criminality that goes on and give it some substance.

“By the time Andrew Mlangeni and Ahmed Kathrada died, they were fighting the ANC of Ramaphosa and Zuma, and there were many Constitutional Court cases, Nkandla and Marikana being two of them.

“The elders of the ANC felt that the people who were running the ANC at this juncture did not represent Oliver Tambo and the original intent of the ANC,” Swana said.

He added that even the dismissal of the former secretary-general, Ace Magashule, had never changed the character of the ANC. Swana added that the criminal character of the government and the ANC had worsened.

He said officials have been involved in crime since the closure of the Zondo Commission.

“Mbalula, Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe (ANC chairperson), and others have continued to do criminal activities without any regard for the morals of the ANC. The idea that the ANC can be renewed is dead and it is not going to work, and the resignation of Msimang is confirming that,” Swana said.

Another political analyst, Kim Heller, said this also showed that the ANC was becoming intolerant of criticism. She said Msimang’s resignation was also motivated by Mbalula’s “childish and disrespectful” remarks about the party’s veterans.

“Msimang’s sharp words on corruption are particularly stinging. Ramaphosa came into power on the ticket of being an anti-corruption champion. However, Ramaphosa has not only failed to deal with wholesale corruption across the ANC, public and private sector, but has himself faced serious allegations of corruption in the Phala Phala matter,” she said.

She added that the resignation was one of many signals of a vote of no-confidence in the Ramaphosa administration, in particular, and the ANC in general.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said Msimang’s resignation sent a strong message that the ANC under Ramaphosa had reached a stage where it was beyond any form of moral and political redemption.

“Msimang has been the face of anti-corruption in the ANC. He has not missed any opportunity to be critical of leaders of the ANC whenever they make a fool of themselves. He was also among those who provided moral support for Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa was projected as a broom that will sweep clean.”

He said in a sense, the likes of Msimang were responsible for creating a myth around Ramaphosa. They embraced and sold “Thumamina”.

“It didn't take long for the real Ramaphosa to emerge. Ramaphosa has single-handedly reversed all the economic gains that black people have made since 1994. He brought load shedding back after it was dealt with. Replaced the very people who resolved the electricity crisis with his demonstrably incompetent minions.

“Ramaphosa was found to have a case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal. The charges against him range from conspiring with those who were engaged in kidnapping and torture. The parliamentary panel also found him to be possibly guilty of defeating the ends of justice, fraud, and possible money laundering,” Seepe said.

Dr Levy Ndou said although Msimang’s resignation was a huge blow to the ANC, he was always worried about the issues of corruption. He said Msimang was also worried that ANC appeared to be soft on its members who were implicated in the Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption.

“There are people who are fighting corruption in the ANC and there are those who appear to be corrupt in the ANC. The Zondo Commission has provided names of those who appear to have participated in corruption in one way or another.

“The ANC's hands are tied, because they resolved that ‘you only step aside when charged’. The fight against corruption requires individual discipline. There are people in the ANC who should not wait to be charged since their proximity to corruption makes them questionable individuals. These are the people who should do the ANC a favour by resigning,” Ndou said.

He also added that the ANC leagues should support the leadership of the party and not act as the opposition.

“The leagues of the ANC should work within the party framework.”

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