SAJID GANI says the ANC, despite its proud history, must be taught a lesson at the polls.
There are many skeletons in the ANC’s past. Allegations of tribalism, racial divides, power struggles and murders that were allegedly evident pre-1990 in exile, are numerous.
It does however have a proud history.
A history built on a long and difficult struggle against the cruel and oppressive apartheid regime. A history replete with personal sacrifices by so many who gave up their lives, loves and families to fight for our freedom. A history of courage that inspired people like me to be anti-apartheid student activists in the 80s. So it was a proud time when the organisation took its rightful place at the helm of our country in 1994, and a proud time when I ticked the ANC box on the ballot paper in the first two general elections.
If one just looks at the core ideals, principles and ethos that informed the ANC’s genesis and guided it through all the years, there is no doubt that it is ideally placed, in principle, to run our country and lead it to a better place. In principle. And one can also not dispute that, for most of the years since the advent of democracy, the ANC did deliver. And it should receive due credit for that.
Unfortunately, these ideals have long since disappeared. The great ethos that once underpinned the ANC culture has morphed into something more sinister. Blatant corruption, mafia-styled cabals, criminality, theft, lack of governance, non-delivery, self interest. The list goes on. It’s pervasive. It’s entrenched. And it’s painful to watch.
In two days’ time, we’ll be voting in the local elections. I don’t know yet who I will be voting for. But I don’t think it matters. I do know who I will NOT be voting for, though. I will NOT be voting for the ANC. Like I did NOT vote for them in the last general election. Because this time it’s about sending a message. Sending a strong message to the ANC that the bullshit needs to stop.
Ideology will not inform my decision. Because there’s just too much at stake. For us and our children.
If the ANC does get a rude awakening in this election which forces it to self-correct and re-purpose, it will hopefully result in the party reclaiming its legitimacy to lead this country to that better place. And I can go back to voting for it with a clear conscience. But if the rude awakening doesn’t materialise, I worry that the dark forces (and it’s not just a Zuma issue) will be emboldened to continue the plunder unabated.
And no, I’m not conflating local and national issues. The issues I referred to above are evident at all levels, local and national. There are, of course, many local ANC candidates who are more competent than those from other parties. But unfortunately, that doesn’t matter today. There’s a bigger purpose here. It’s about sending a message to the once glorious movement.