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When ANC (African National Congress) was first set up a century ago its main agenda was to better general life to the majority of the people who were economically disfranchised & socially segregated. The European settlers, who were wielding power in the country, also had their own separate agenda and a differing belief that was at a loggerhead with ANC’s. Something had to yield! A century of protracted struggle finally birthed a new rainbow nation, the Republic of South Africa.
Initially, ANC was dominated by the so-called black aristocracy. Later on it managed to incorporate the sentiments of the majority of the South African population, including that of the Indians and few of the whites. Its general orientation was to bring some kind of balance to the whole polarized and violent social existence by empowering the majority of the population. This created a clear trajectory or a definable general movement of the whole collective that ultimately brought down the apartheid regime of the white minority. ANC was the natural vanguard of the movement, but the movement itself was bigger and diverse than ANC!
2014 is an election year in South Africa. Given the turmoil that is being witnessed all over the world, the process and outcome of this major activity will be watched carefully. The particular movement that dethroned apartheid is now over and ANC’s significant role in the struggle has been duly recognized by all and sundry. Now the challenge is to birth a new movement that goes beyond mere formal hence content-less equality! The challenge is to clearly envision and concretely implement tangible social & economic transformation that will empower those who have been shortchanged for centuries. But, ANC reckons it has moved from being a vanguard of a movement that moved masses to being a mainstream political party that is politickingly sustained.
Trapped in the global limelight, ANC gradually became oblivious to the acute needs of its black beast (human mass.) Its political waywardness coupled with the deplorable lack of integrity amongst its leaders progressively alienated it from its traditional power base. Currently, members in its core components are abandoning it in droves. NUM (National Union of Mine workers), COSTU (Confederation of South
African Trade Union) and SACP (South African Communist Party) used to be ANC’s pillars. NUM is in the process of losing the absolute majority of its members to NUMSA (National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa), which refused to endorse ANC. COSATU is in disarray. Moreover it is on its way to losing majority of its members to NUMSA or its likes. Already NUMSA has become the largest labor union organization in South Africa. What gives?
ANC’s desire to be mainstream by abandoning principled and firm liberation trajectory to better the life of its core constituents has and will continue to cost it dearly. Accommodating certain basic interests of the prevailing economic power holders is one thing, but collaborating & joining world-class oligarchs in the looting of the motherland is another? Regime Change might not threaten ANC’s present policies if it wins the coming election. On the other hand, if the 2014 election obtains or indicates a potential vanguard(s) to lead an ascending movement that aspires to economically & socially empower the mass then it will be a different story. Think South America (Venezuela, etc.) As it stands and if truth be told, ANC’s top echelon is effectively detached from its constituency and to some close observers it has even developed a value system that puts the mafia mobsters to shame. Remember the massacre of Marikana a year ago?
The vacuous and pompous trapping that is continuously displayed by the power that be will not mean much if is done by breaking the back of the black beast of burden. What must be vigorously pursued, we believe, is a sincere trajectory to bring about a more harmonious and egalitarian arrangement that can promise a secured future for all South Africans. Anything short of that will only be frivolous adventurism. We reiterate: “A movement is people moving and a mainstream party is politicos politicking.” Good Day!