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Why The ANC's 105th Birthday Was Not Worthy Of A Celebration

January 8 used to be a date to diarise... But not anymore as now the party is now fighting for its life in the ICU.

17/01/2017 04:58 SAST | Updated 17/01/2017 04:58 SAST
ALEXANDER JOE via Getty Images
ANC President Jacob Zuma, during happier times.

ANYONE and anything arriving at one hundred years of life is worthy of celebration, for it can't be easy to be alive or even exist for that long – but certainly there are exceptions. I am saying this in the wake of the continent's oldest liberation movement turning 105 years old, celebrating it at the historic Orlando stadium in Soweto on January 8, where revelers enjoyed going around the historic township and some even seeing for the first time the famous Vilakazi street and having a peek at the Mandela and Tutu houses in the said township.

All that said, that celebration of the former revolutionary movement's birthday has in recent years become as boring as listening to a sermon where the pastor is just going on and on repeating themselves. January 8 used to be a date to diarise as we waited for the ANC's top six to come back and tell us what it has achieved as well as penning a way forward. But not anymore. The party is now fighting for its life in the ICU.

The January 8 message used to be one of the most anticipated political messages of the year. We used to wait for this message as the first political messages of the year – but not anymore. People are bussed in from rural provinces like Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and the Northern Cape province for a very dull affair.

In the past the ANC wouldn't have a problem with filling a giant stadium like the FNB Stadium, but now the former revolutionary party of great giants like Tambo, Lembede, Mandela, Mbeki can't even fill up a tennis court unless the infamous food parcels are promised with T-shirts of demi gods like the party's current president Jacob Zuma. In short, I-ANC ayisafani.

This a party that was given evidence of state capture by the former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela but still, in a way decided to protect those implicated in it. This is a party whose officials have been implicated in corrupt activities, but still little happens to them. This is the very same party that lost embarrassingly in the strategic metros in the country but still pretty much looks like it's not taking it any seriously.

The African National Congress has lost touch with the people of South Africa, especially the majority African black poor and the so called clever blacks who are either middle class or aspiring to be. Perhaps most worryingly, the ANC has completely lost political reality, which is power shifting as the people start realising that they cannot hold onto a party based simply on loyalty and history alone.

This is an ANC whose secretary general has become nothing but a broken radio so much so that I don't even think Gwede Mantashe believes much of what he says anymore.

Is this a kind of ANC that late stalwarts like Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, or Oliver Tambo would be proud to be associated with? Hell no, they would never want to be associated with a party that has lost so much respect for the electorate and itself. The ANC of today is an ANC that says one thing and does exactly the opposite. This is an ANC that says it is against corruption but its officials are implicated in such scandals repeatedly.

This is an ANC whose secretary general has become nothing but a broken radio so much so that I don't even think Gwede Mantashe believes much of what he says anymore. This is an ANC that has lost so much ground that its own veterans even went out to lambast it before retreating back under pressure. This is the ANC who alliance partners have either come out collectively or by individual voices to distance themselves from the leadership of President Jacob Zuma, who has been proven to have been a way too close to the controversial Gupta family that thanks to the former PP and the opposition parties we were able to hijack a hijacking of the state.

All these happened under the leadership of the ANC that is fast losing political power with all indications pointing at this party being fully removed from power come the year 2019 when we go to the national general elections. This ANC has messed up a good project that is a democratic South Africa. This is the ANC that has made January look so lame, even laughable.

This, indeed, is the ANC that has lost touch with its own membership, supporters and the greater South Africa. This is the ANC that makes OR Tambo turn violently in his grave looking at how a party he once led is being destroyed by greedy individuals who worry about nothing but themselves.