On Mandela day there was a conference at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg which was dubbed the "Future of SA Conference". It was hosted by the Kathrada Foundation and the Save SA Campaign. Over one hundred community organisations were represented at the conference but Sipho Pityana, the leader of the Save SA Campaign, was at pains to assure everyone that he was not attempting to resurrect the apartheid era United Democratic Front [UDF]. The purpose of the conference was to discuss state capture.
The opening speech by Pityana was followed by brief comments by a few personalities. A short ANC documentary film was then played after which the plenary was addressed by three "heroes" who gave an account of their personal experiences in key institutions of the captured state. They were Popo Molefe, the chairman of Prasa, a gentleman who was a member of the so-called SARS rogue unit and the fearless Dr Makhosi Khoza the celebrated ANC MP.
For the record, it must be mentioned that Pityana and all the "heroes" are ANC members. I must confess that ever since Zuma became president of the ANC, the organisation became repulsive and repugnant to me. Nevertheless, to express my admiration for Dr Khoza I cannot think of a better way than to quote the following literal translation of a Zulu expression: "She is the only man among ANC MPs". I am sure that despite being a self-confessed feminist, as a Zulu, Dr Khoza will not feel insulted by that.
After the testimonies of the "heroes", there were reports by key civil society organisations that are directly addressing state capture such as Corruption Watch and Outa. To me, the highlight of this part of the program was a report which was presented by the leader of a Cape Town organisation called Unite Behind, a girl who must have been in her late teens. Her organisation works in communities to explain the nature of state capture and how it affects the lives of the people.
One of the projects of Unite Behind is to get communities to vote about whether Zuma should step down. A compilation of these ballots amounts to a petition which they are planning to present to the authorities. My high regard for the girl was somewhat tarnished when she took pains to explain that the voters they had interacted with were not opposed to the ANC, per se, which they recognise as their liberator. They were only opposed to Zuma.
The girl was clearly beholden to the ANC heroes and felt it necessary to emphasise that she was one of them and her organisation was not subversive to the interests of the ANC. Their campaign was only about opposing Zuma but otherwise, the ANC is OK. To me, this pathetic viewpoint of an otherwise brilliant and gifted girl was an indictment of the opposition. Despite the daily own goals of the ANC, the opposition has failed abysmally to capitalise on the situation.
The cultural accoutrements of the opposition parties alone are enough to place them a distant second to the ANC despite the grave problems of the ANC.
In fact, the very fact that it took ANC aligned organisations to think of organising the "Future of South Africa Conference" speaks volumes about the lack of initiative in the opposition. The opposition is so inept that, in my opinion, if the ANC were to begin 2018 without Zuma they would win the 2019 elections comfortably even if they fail or they do not even try to address corruption.
Apart from the DA which is a wanna-be-child of Mandela these days, the opposition consists mainly of daughters of the ANC. All they know is mouthing slogans they imbibed from the ANC: viva this! and viva that! The opposition ought to be shouting catchy and imaginative slogans which directly associate the ANC with corruption and rule by the Guptas. The opposition has completely failed to take advantage of the current hip hop craze. They ought to be encouraging poetry which draws attention to the fact that we lost our freedom and we are now under a Gupta empire.
The songs that the opposition is singing are completely lacking in imagination. Look at what Zuma does with Maskandi music. They sing songs which portray Zuma as the victim, they ask "Wenzeni uZuma?", (What has Zuma done?) With one master stroke of musical genius, Zuma is able to turn the tables but the opposition has learned absolutely nothing from that. I am despondent. This country is doomed to ANC misrule.
The cultural accoutrements of the opposition parties alone are enough to place them a distant second to the ANC despite the grave problems of the ANC. The policy of the ANC has only begun recently to be inspired by the EFF. They are moving away from the policies that are favoured by the majority in a vain attempt to steal the six or seven percent of the EFF. Before this aberration, it was clear why the opposition policies were considered poor by comparison.
The weakness of the ANC has always been its ethical standards. That is what the opposition should be attacking relentlessly instead of focussing on proposing scary policies that make no economic sense. Someone tell the EFF that it is only a few angry youths who are not put off by demagogues.