For the first time since the African National Congress came into power, talks of "radical economic transformation", "representation of women and youth in leadership" and returning land to the rightful owners have been bandied about. The failure of the governing party to implement its own socio-economic policy imperatives has now become a contentious issue dividing the party and South Africans now more than ever. It is this division that presented an opportunity for President Jacob Zuma and his supporters to manipulate leadership, governance and administrative failures as a rejection of white monopoly capital.
Those who are aware of the deliberate politicking of those who stand to benefit from this window-dressing have been called stooges of white colonialists and privileged blacks who are out of touch with reality. It is this political dilemma that proves that the ANC has reached a point of no return, leaving its only hope for renewal in recalling Zuma as president of the ANC and a vote of no confidence in Parliament. It is during these tumultuous times that we all need to stand up and unite for a South Africa embarking on a prosperous path with leaders who espouse the core principles of the Freedom Charter.
In his book "We have now begun our descent", Justice Malala captures the challenge that the electorate is faced with over the years as Zuma derailed the gains from the hard work of building a credible democracy:
"What is truly terrible is that all of us have thrown our hands in the air and given up on being leaders ourselves. We are on our own now, we had better make it work, for no politician – certainly no politician from the ruling party – seems capable of displaying the sort of courage needed to break to logjam of corruption and stasis that grips our country. It is up to us now."
It is this realisation that neither the ANC is capable of saving itself, but a reminder that the power to change the state of affairs remains with us the people. Now more than ever, South Africans should question the motivations behind decisions that affect us. This goes far beyond the looting of state coffers in the Nkandla saga, the removal of Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas, the numerous cabinet reshuffles and the close proximity of the Gupta family to our leaders. Where we stand today should compel us to interrogate how the high moral ground and discipline of the liberation party has been chipped away over the years to a point where the country is being sold to the highest bidder.
To have a legacy shrouded in controversies ranging from rape allegations, being lambasted by the Constitutional Court for failing to uphold the constitution while holding the highest number of no-confidence votes in parliament is shameful by any standards. And let us not forget that it is the ANC who chose this man for South Africans. As we march and continue to exert pressure for change, let us remember the vociferous defence of an incompetent president, the recent apology offered by Gwede Mantashe on dissenting voices within the ANC and the conduct of our leaders in holding themselves accountable to the people. The real work towards 2019 has begun.