If anyone still doubted the extent of the decline of the ANC under Jacob Zuma’s leadership, the outcome of their National Executive Council meeting this week surely provided final confirmation.
The ANC leadership is now completely exposed as being irretrievably divided, paralysed by patronage and wholly unable to act in the nation’s – nor even the party’s – best interest.
On Monday, the ANC’s NEC emerged from extended deliberations on whether or not to remove Jacob Zuma as President of South Africa. This discussion was instigated by Cabinet Minister Derek Hanekom, and supported by many other NEC members, in a motion that took Zuma’s faction by surprise. There followed two days of heated debate ending in a consensus to retain Zuma as SA President. In the words of the ANC’s press statement afterwards:
During the course of these discussions, a call was made for ANC President, Comrade Jacob Zuma, to consider stepping down as the President of the Republic of South Africa… After extensive deliberations, the NEC came to the conclusion that the National Democratic Revolution remains on course, however the revolution is facing serious threats being racism, ethnic nationalism and monopoly capital.
On the call for the President to consider stepping down as President of the Republic, the NEC took time to elaborate on what we have previously identified as a negative narrative directed towards the President… Following robust, honest, candid and at times difficult discussions, the NEC did not support the call for the President to step down. The NEC resolved it was more urgent to direct the energies of the ANC in its entirety to working towards the unity of the movement.
This outcome smashes once and for all the naïve idea that the ANC can self-correct. Despite its pitiful attempt to suggest that the President’s unpopularity is due to the subjective propaganda of his detractors who drive a “negative narrative” about him, the 104 NEC members know full well that President Zuma is damaging the ANC and the country. The ConCourt’s Nkandla judgement, the Public Protector’s State of Capture report, the ANC’s loss of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay metros and the SaveSA movement are all hard fact that no amount of spin can alter one way or the other.