Rifts in ANC are becoming yawning chasms

Makhosi Khoza
Makhosi Khoza  Image: ESA ALEXANDER

Makhosi Khoza described the ANC as “alien”, “ugly”, “nasty”, “self-serving” and “unprincipled” on Thursday as she exited the organisation.

As her parting shots, she tore into the ruling party, saying its principles had been hijacked by the current crop of leaders and the ANC’s dignity needed to be restored.

It was a hard-hitting indictment of what was once a proud party of liberation.

Tellingly, Khoza’s was not the only public criticism of the ANC this week.

Less than 24 hours earlier axed KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu – who is still an ANC member – said the party was destroying itself.

Speaking at the Moerane Commission into political violence in KwaZulu-Natal, Mchunu revealed intimate details of how the party had “manipulated” its own processes to ensure that supporters of certain factions came to power, even at councillor level in local government.

He claimed bouncers were used to intimidate branch members to vote a certain way, that the results of votes were summarily changed, that branch election meeting venues and times were changed to exclude certain candidates and that municipal police and the SAPS were used in these factional battles.

This manipulation and the fierce contest for positions had, since 2011, put the ANC at the heart of political violence in the province. Mchunu, the former ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairman, said this is something the party “must take responsibility” for.

These two separate indictments of the ANC, coming only a day apart, should serve as a mirror for the ANC’s self-reflection.

As much as the party talks of soul-searching and of a renewed bid for unity there is little evidence yet of this bearing fruit. Instead, its fractures are turning into yawning chasms so wide they might never again be bridged.


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