Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
GUTLESS: The ANC Womens League under Angie Motshekga is as impotent as a eunuch, says the writer, unlike the days of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
GUTLESS: The ANC Womens League under Angie Motshekga is as impotent as a eunuch, says the writer, unlike the days of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The NOMINATION process for the ANC’s national conference has begun. Either new kings will be made or the same ones will remain.

We will wait and see the circus play before us on the road to Mangaung.

Will the ANC Youth League play the role of kingmaker as it always has, or has President Jacob Zuma broken its back even though it was instrumental in his ascension to the ANC throne?

And what of the ANC Women’s League? There are few things more useless than the women’s league in SA politics. Characteristically blunt, Julius Malema has called the league nothing more than a burial society.

We never really hear of any real issues being tackled by the women’s league.

The one thing they appear to be most interested in is ensuring their leaders are appointed as ministers and deputy ministers.

The league is not even interested in increasing its clout within the party.

The rank and file of the leadership is filled with old mamas whose only task appears to be self-preservation.

There is no young blood. No wonder it hasn’t had a new idea to advance before the public in years.

One has to wonder why it exists. Compared with the youth league, it is as impotent as a eunuch.

One would expect the league to jump at the opportunity when the presidency is offered to one of its members.

But no. It is almost as if they are guardians of patriarchy.

I doubt Winnie Madikizela-Mandela would want to be associated with today’s league.

The women’s league never fought to ensure that one of its own became president or even deputy.

These women had the perfect opportunity to put a woman inside the Union Buildings, but they said no.

They could even have taken credit for putting a woman there. Alas, they were not interested in making history; they were interested in swimming in the pool of mediocrity.

In 2007, before Polokwane, it was a well-known secret that then-president Thabo Mbeki was going to propose that Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma be elected president of the country had he won the presidency of the ANC from his arch-rival, Zuma.

Since he had already served two terms as president of the country, he could not serve a third term according to the constitution.

The women’s league, in its wisdom, decided to support the Zuma camp, which had no real prospect for a woman as president of the country.

It was baffling. If Dlamini Zuma was incompetent, then maybe I’d understand.

But everybody sang her praises. She was excellent at foreign affairs and incredible when she turned around the shambles that was the Department of Home Affairs.

She was not going to embarrass them as president. And they knew it.

Considering the number of women in the country and the number in the ANC, one would have expected the league to have positioned itself for a future in the kingmaking (or in this case, queenmaking) business in the ANC.

Yet they remain powerless.

It is almost as if they chose to be a pawn instead of the chess master when they had the opportunity to so.

I don’t know how much faith we can have in the women’s league when its president is none other than Angie Motshekga, the minister of basic education.

These people are more interested in political survival than in progress of the society.

What has happened to the mothers of the nation? Where have they all gone?

The women’s league needs to die or it needs to come back with a purpose.

Not this, whatever this is.