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An extinction-level event for the ANC due to Zondo? Not out of the question

Zondo, an extinction-level event for the <a class=ANC? Not an impossible prospect"/>The spotlight is now on the ANC's response and its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, following the release of the Zondo Commission report's final volumes and the harsh conclusions it makes about corruption, lawlessness, and inefficiency inside our state. His actions will probably set the tone for the party, and how they respond could determine whether they remain in the national government in 2024.

Just a few interesting facts: The SSA cash given to former president Jacob Zuma every month by then State Security minister David Mahlobo; the lack of party support for Prasa chair Popo Molefe, leaving him isolated when he attempted to stop corruption; and the campaign to infiltrate and influence the media run by former State Security Agency head Arthur Fraser with Iqbal Survé's African News Agency as its "training" partner. The list would be longer than this essay only on its own.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly for our current predicament, there is evidence to suggest that Ramaphosa himself could have — and should have — taken additional action to prevent State Capture from taking place.

Just two years before the national election in 2024, it is evidently critical that this conclusion—that the ANC "sponsored, and facilitated corruption and State Capture”—be made.

This is what happened under Zuma, Ramaphosa and the ANC may now claim, and the party has transformed.

There is not much proof for this.

Ramaphosa's response to Zondo's findings is a good place to start. The Presidency issued a statement on June 23 that read:

"The President has pledged to take into account the Commission's report in its entirety and to provide Parliament with a thorough response and implementation plan. Therefore, the Presidency will not comment at this time on particular findings and recommendations of the Commission. In four months, according to Ramaphosa, he will present the response.

Ramaphosa has admitted that it will take him four full months to formulate a response "in its whole." Ramaphosa and the ANC may not have that much time, though, given the level of public rage in our culture.

(Cynics assert that the ANC and Ramaphosa would exploit these four months to divert attention and create new crises. Currently, there are increasingly louder xenophobic cries on social media that, in certain areas, have spilled over into actuality, resulting in horrifying violence in Gauteng townships and the burning of the Yeoville market. It's also possible that tensions between xenophobia and KZN reach such an all-time high that the Zondo report is temporarily forgotten. — Ed)

Voters, who are crucial to this, don't appear like they'll have the patience to wait that long or be easily distracted. Neither ought they.

Ramaphosa's apparent unwillingness to answer creates significant issues when the gaps are filled in.

Doing so raises the question of whether Ramaphosa will keep Mahlobo in his position as deputy minister of water affairs and sanitation. This is a man who was implicated in regularly giving government money—our money—to Zuma and who oversaw a number of initiatives that, in a properly working legal system, would have resulted in hundreds of people spending a significant amount of time behind bars. Mahlobo has so far declined to discuss his part in this vice.

The ANC has refrained from taking action against a great number of other people. For instance, there hasn't been any public action taken against Mosebenzi Zwane, who is still serving as chair of the portfolio committee for transportation.

When the party is questioned about individuals like these, it makes reference to its Integrity Commission and states that the parties in question must appear before it.

But as Zondo himself notes, it was clear in 2013 that Zuma was the mastermind of a widespread corruption plot. It was obvious what was going on as soon as it was reported that the Gupta family had landed a plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

In December 2016, the ANC's Integrity Commission requested Zuma step down. He chose not to. The committee did nothing at all about it. The committee's opinion wasn't made public until several weeks later, just after Zuma's shocking late-March 2017 cabinet-shuffle (during which Pravin Gordhan was ousted as Finance Minister and replaced by Malusi Gigaba).

More recently, when Ramaphosa claimed to have started this process of “renewal”, this same committee notified Deputy President David Mabuza and Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo that it was concerned about their behaviour and that they should not hold their positions.

They remain content in their current roles. hundreds of them, actually.

Simply put, there is no proof that the Integrity Commission of the ANC is doing the duties that are assigned to it. This will be viewed as a slap in the face by voters.

The process could take more than two years for each complaint, while some of the parties involved in this report may well declare they will contest its conclusions. Senior positions are held by several of them.

Does this mean Gwede Mantashe, the ANC chair and minister of energy and mineral resources, who has said he will dispute the findings, gets to keep both of his positions? Does he also have the opportunity to strive for a Top Six spot at the national party conference?

And if that is the case, does that not encourage Zandile Gumede and others to simply contest the National Prosecuting Authority's decisions to charge them, remain in power, and carry on as usual?

Time passing The ANC and Ramaphosa's immediate tactical advantage would be to conceal themselves behind "procedures" and pass the time until the 2024 elections.

It most likely has no other option. Anything else would lead to turmoil, which would inevitably extend to the rest of the nation. Any National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that must choose a suitable response will inevitably turn into a physical or virtual brawl.

It seems implausible to picture the ANC NEC drafting a thorough response and essentially voting for its own jail term given how many members of the body are implicated in so much wrongdoing (whether in the Zondo report or elsewhere).

Questions concerning their roles at this time have been raised for individuals including Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi, Zwane, Zizi Kodwa, Sifiso Buthelezi, Bongani Bongo, Collen Maine, Mahlobo, Joe Maswanganyi, Siyabonga Cwele, Thabang Makwetla, Nomvula Mokonyane, and others. They don't have a track record of kindness or making choices that benefit the people of South Africa.

This makes it clear that the ANC cannot come up with a just, reasonable, or appropriate response. or at any time in the future.

The only choice might be to let branch delegates decide in December. However, there are hazards associated with that because pandemonium would inevitably reign there, making the possibility of the meeting completely collapsing no longer nil. Such a result would destroy the ANC forever.

The ANC may fumble through for as long as possible in light of this royal snafu, and Ramaphosa's reaction, even if it comes in four months, is likely to be a collection of hollow platitudes.

What will happen to the ANC in 2024 is the most significant impact of the Zondo Commission's report. Maybe the party will fall much, much further from the first estimates made immediately before the municipal elections last year that it could still win between 48 and 52 percent of the vote.

It may no longer be the case that it would remain the leading party in a coalition following the poll. That a national alliance of opposition parties might actually create a national government without the ANC after the elections.

Zondo, an extinction-level event for the ANC? Not an impossible prospect (

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ANC Cyril Ramaphosa Popo Molefe Zondo Zondo Commission


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