THE ANC’s latest bickering over who is more corrupt than the other is tantamount to a family squabbling over who should get the juiciest piece of steak at a feast while above them a bigger storm threatens to sweep away their home.
South Africa faces the biggest challenges and storms since the sanctions movement took a toll on the local economy in the late 1980s and early 90s when the international community, spurred on by exceptional and leadership of ANC President Oliver Tambo, mobilized in the fight against Apartheid.
Back then, big corporations heeded the ANC and the Mass Democratic Movement’s call to disinvest from the country to apply pressure on the apartheid regime so it could abandon and dismantle apartheid.
Although this struck a blow to the regime which had lost almost all credibility before the eyes of the world, one of the effects of the sanctions campaigns was the massive employment that followed.
Of course, those who suffered as a result of the disinvestment that led to the closure of factories and loss of thousands of jobs were the same people oppressed by the evil Apartheid system.
Yet, there was some collective understanding that the suffering was all for a good cause and that change was on the horizon.
Although there were dissenting voices, it was generally accepted among the oppressed that the ANC was the voice of the people.
In the streets of the townships and on factory floors militant youths and workers were singing songs in praise of exiled ANC leaders they had never set their eyes on before.
The ANC carried their hopes and its leaders known only by name to many were revered as heroes who would returning as conquering heroes to unseat the racist monsters of the National Party that had ruled with an iron fist since 1948.
But fast forward to August 2020.
The ANC, which has been in power since 1994 is before the eyes of a reasonable section of the population, a discredited, hopeless, pathetic, wretched and incompetent monster.
It has reduced itself to a disconsolate organisation that has succeeded in dissecting itself into self- serving factions that care so little about the nation, that in the midst of a global pandemic, they gather to bicker about who is more corrupt than the other than tackle the monster at hand.
Of course, the monstrosity staring the country and the nation in the face is the economic downturn that has already seen factories shut down, shops fail to reopen, businessmen weep in despair at the end of their dreams and workers told never to return to their workstations after the devastating covid-19 lockdown.
Whilst elsewhere in the world leaders and ruling parties are huddled around workstations and tables seeking solutions to the post COVID-19 crisis, the ANC is on another tip.
Any ruling party that respects first the country it leads, secondly its citizens and thirdly its future, would, while holding the NEC meeting in the midst of a pandemic that has devastated the country in this manner would conduct itself differently.
They should be charting ways to save jobs, ensure that not a single business shuts down and that no family goes to bed hungry.
They should be telling the nation how they plan to counter the international impact of the coronavirus on the country, to ensure the rand doesn’t plummet any further and that the country does not sink further into debt.
Rural communities have no running water.
Townships are overcrowded with unemployed youths who are fast losing hope.
State owned enterprises have all but collapsed. Criminals are having a party in the streets. Corruption by ANC members in government and their cronies has become a national pastime.
The national mood is at such a low it wouldn’t be surprising if there are even some of our compatriots are considering relocating to Kazakhastan or Siberia.
The level of despair and uncertainty mirrors that of those hours before then ANC President Nelson Mandela took to the national broadcaster to assure the nation following the assassination of SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani hours earlier in April 1993.
Then the ANC, although not a perfect organisation, boasted some leaders with integrity who not only displayed that they were there to serve their country in words, but also lived it.
But this bunch of today, their stomach bloated from the fat of the working class and taxpayers’ contributions, are giving the country and those leaders like Mandela the middle finger.
They would rather bicker over which faction is more corrupt, which one acted or failed to do against its dishonourable member and so on.
Instead of placing uppermost on the agenda the solutions to save the country, they are fighting over who should be in charge of whatever is left of the depleted state coffers.
If South Africans still have hope that these are people who can save them from the economic crisis facing the country and the world today, then they should all take collective responsibility with the ANC for what befalls us in the near future.
The latest ANC NEC meeting where the Ramaphosa faction is pitted against the rest, including an internationally discredited and disgraced Jacob Zuma, who was forced to vacate office kicking screaming after a disastrous decade – is another telling sign that this is an organisation bereft of new ideas and solutions.
The ANC is a party at war with itself.
But it is even more a clear sign that their interests lie not in resolving the challenges facing the economy and the country in general.
They care more about power, because gives them access to state resources which they can abuse with impunity because the electorate is still imprisoned by the history of the struggle.
And until we learn that being beholden to the names of freedom fighters long dead and slogans that have long lost meaning will not free us from the hold of the current looters, we will remain powerless spectators of the sham like the NEC meeting of this weekend. You can only imagine what transpires in cabinet meetings.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)