Factions are dangerous!

Nkutšoeu Motsau

Sedibeng Ster’s blogger, Nkutšoeu Motsau, writes:
Answering a question by a journalist, the Secretary-General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, said that the ANC cannot tell the organs of state what to do! He said that all he could say was: “My brother, it is not nice to be listened to while speaking over the telephone. Will you please stop this bad practice?” What is this? What does Mantashe take us for?

When a party wins the elections it is given the responsibility to form a government. The cabinet uses the state apparatus (organs of the state) to carry out the policies of the party that has won the elections. It is surprising that this straightforward fact seems to be eluding the Secretary-General of the ruling party. He is either dishonest or confirming that the centre of power has indeed been removed from both Luthuli House and the cabinet, that is, from the President. A party that wins the elections, and does not know how to control the state apparatus is good for nothing. It must be ejected from Parliament and thrown in the street so that the people must trample upon it.

Or else it means that Mantashe belongs to a faction that is not able to control the organs of the state, that it is the other faction that instructs the state security organs to unlawfully tap the private telephone calls. The state organs cannot exist by and for themselves. They are headed and controlled by the government that has been formed by the party that has won the elections. When the ruling party is factionalised, the different factions strive to control the state apparatus. The factions tear the state apparatus apart as they strive to gain control of “the more important and strategic state organs”.

Each faction fights for its own survival. Each faction believes that its interests are the interests of the ruling party. Nothing could be further from the truth. The interests of the factions are not the same as the interests of the ruling party. Otherwise, there would be no factions. The factions exist for interests other than those of the ruling party. As a matter of fact, these factions exist for the complete destruction of the ruling party.

I remember very well that in the beginning, after he took office, President Jacob Zuma used to speak a lot about collective leadership. Not anymore. Even some of the members of the top six complain that they were not consulted before a cabinet reshuffle of March early this year. Now another elective conference of the ANC is well-nigh upon us. Never before have they ever been so torn apart. The whet stones are out, and the knives are being sharpened. As sure as night follows day, that conference shall be preceded by the bloodletting of the night of the long knives. – (Opinion piece submitted on 13 Sept 2017).

* The writer of this column, Nkutšoeu Motsau, was born in Top Location in the Vaal Triangle in 1953. He grew up in Sharpeville. He is a tetraplegic as a result of a car accident in July 2005 in Sharpeville and now resides in Cape Town, but still feels a deep rooted connection with the Vaal. Nkutšoeu is Chairperson of Azanla MVA.

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