The ANC is beyond redemption.
In Tuesday’s impeachment debate in the National Assembly, the ANC’s parliamentary caucus voted unanimously to retain Jacob Zuma as the president despite last week’s Constitutional Court ruling that he failed to “uphold, defend and respect the Constitution” during the six-year Nkandla saga.
If South Africans were surprised by this outcome it is because they have not yet grasped the fact that South Africa has an ANC problem, not a Jacob Zuma problem.
The solution to SA’s problem lies not with ejecting Jacob Zuma, but with ejecting the ANC. This is good news, not bad, because while we lack the power to fire Zuma, we as a nation hold all the power to fire the ANC. And the next opportunity to do so is on the 3 August 2016, the date that the IEC has confirmed for the 2016 local government elections.
The impeachment debate this Tuesday, 5 April 2016, was important because it put the full ANC parliamentary caucus centre stage in the political spotlight and forced them to make a simple, unequivocal, binary choice between Zuma and the Constitution, while South Africa and the world looked on. Each and every one of these ANC MPs swore an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and yet each and every one chose Zuma.
In doing so, they delivered South Africans irrefutable proof that the ANC is 100% complicit in the corruption of Jacob Zuma. The ANC appointed Zuma, and the ANC has consistently and deliberately chosen to retain, protect and promote him, and they have done so using increasingly devious, desperate and deceitful means. This is not out of any concern for his wellbeing, but out of selfish concern for their own continued access to his political patronage.
Whatever anger South Africans feel towards Jacob Zuma, they should direct at the ANC, because Zuma is entirely a product of the ANC. He remains in office only at their behest. The ANC could convene an NEC meeting today and remove him from power, just as they did Thabo Mbeki in 2008 for a far lesser offence.
But they will not remove him, because they have chosen personal enrichment over their sworn duty to South Africa and the Constitution. The only logical response in a democracy is to vote them out at the ballot box.
The DA has been criticized by some political commentators for rushing the impeachment debate rather than giving the ANC time to lobby enough support internally to remove Zuma. This position relies on three faulty assumptions.
Firstly, it assumes that given a little more time, the ANC would have moved against Zuma. For seven years they have not only watched from front row seats but cheered as he lurched from one sensationally damaging scandal to the next. Does anyone really think that they needed just another week or two to mull on the evidence and locate their moral compass?
Secondly, it assumes that the DA’s job as the main opposition party in South Africa is to create the fertile conditions and timing for the ANC to reform itself. This is wholly incorrect. The DA’s job is to alert South Africans to the very real fact that the rot in the ANC is pervasive and perilous, and to provide an alternative option to South Africans. And this is exactly what the DA has done.
Finally, it assumes that the ANC as a ruling party is capable of reform; that once Jacob Zuma is out of the way, these ANC leaders, the very same people who for seven years have failed to remove Zuma, will be free of the cancer of corruption and able to get on with the business of providing good, clean, capable government to the people of South Africa. To believe this is to be naive about just how deep and dangerous this cancer of corruption is.
The role and responsibility of citizens is to use the power of their vote to remove the ANC from power in metros and municipalities across the country on 3 August 2016. This weekend 9-10 April is the second and final registration weekend. If you are not sure if you are registered or where you have registered before, you can check your registration status on check.da.org.za. Alternatively, you can SMS your ID number to 32810 or contact the Democratic Alliance call centre on 086 122 5532.
Our democracy is ripe for change. The ANC must go. The DA is ready to step into the breach and bring freedom, fairness and opportunity to all South Africans, united under our wonderful Constitution.