23/08/2017 03:59 SAST | Updated 23/08/2017 06:09 SAST

The ANC Is In A Fight For The Captainship Of A Sinking Vessel

The governing party is in absolute disarray.

Siphiwe Sibeko/ Reuters
Former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma chats with South Africa's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The result of the motion of no confidence has really set the cat amongst the pigeons, but instead of galvanising an organisation to honestly embrace the painful change needed to fix a party that is in disarray, it has brought out the worst.

The ANC, should, instead of conducting a witch hunt against critics and dissidents within the party, focus on the implication of 15 percent of their members of parliament voting for and/or abstaining in the recent motion of no confidence initiated by the Democratic Alliance.

This excludes an additional percentage who voted against for a range of reasons spanning a desire for stability, fear of repercussions, and an inability to go against the party in favour of a motion tabled by the opposition.

If for argument's sake, the level of dissent in the parliamentary party stands at 20 percent, and that translates into twenty percent of hitherto ANC voters in an election, then the ANC is in dire trouble. Their share of the electoral vote will fall well below the 50 percent mark.

This, however, does not appear to be the main preoccupation of the Zuma faction, whose chief pursuit is aimed at retribution within and control of the ANC. It is a fight for the captainship of a sinking vessel.

The ANC is in self-destructive mode, and even after December, the winner will seek to entrench command and control at the expense of fixing the rot.

Any reasonable attempt to shore up the ship and fix the problems of graft, corruption and chronic mismanagement is ignored and indeed is incapable of gaining ground, precisely because the preoccupation is command and control and not channelling change to fix the rot.

This is why the ANC is in self-destructive mode, and even after December, the winner will seek to entrench command and control at the expense of fixing the rot.

The rot will, in the event of a non-Zuma faction emerging triumphant, be seen to be exclusively manifest in the isolated Zuma faction and the complicity of the new victors in the rot of past will be overlooked. More tellingly, it will reinfect the new body and the rot will resume.

This will all unfold as we approach the watershed of the 2019 elections. The stage is set for massive change and the continuation of alliance politics that was ushered in by the results of the previous municipal elections.

It must be a very unenviable place to be for the ANC, as the results of your folly and fealty come back to unseat you from what you have seen and disingenuously posited as your historic mission. It's now up to the DA and it's alliance partners to roll out a plan, underscored by policy and solid municipal government experience to entice voters whilst the ANC continues, almost inexorably, to self-destruct.