President Jacob Zuma is not the African National Congress (ANC) nor is Zuma the face of people of South Africa and the failure as a leader is synonymous with the party elite. The ruling elite of the ANC appointed Zuma, and it is the ANC party that received an overwhelming majority vote to rule South Africa. ANC supporters react to matters and stage pointless marches to defend the dignity of a weak president. Zuma is the face of the ANC and the ANC is not South Africa.
The ANC played a crucial part in ending apartheid and have ruled for 21 years, contributing to democracy. The ANC negotiated the fate of the people with the apartheid regime, knowing that the common uneducated African individual knew nothing and used it as an opportunity to exploit the poor. The hero or leader becomes the fat lazy, evil person until the voice of the workers sound off in the wake of broken promises. The people of South Africa have not received the promises made by the ruling party, and instead, poverty, crime, and corruption have thwarted the prospect of living a decent life.
Zuma as president has been portrayed as the face of South Africa, yet he is one of the many faces. Internationally known and more respected faces include Thuli Madonsela, Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Charlize Theron, and Desmond Tutu. Zuma is the face of corruption. The 103-year-old ANC party whose elite spent most of the time living in remote camps in exile is out of touch with modern South Africa. Zuma was elected by ANC members to be the president of the party in a series of secretive maneuvers. It was not a straight, transparent and ethical process that led Zuma to become president. The election of Zuma as president is the most “undemocratic” event that happened in the young democracy. While the path of Zuma is littered with political corpses and bad publicity, the path of Tutu and Madonsela are paved with praise from an admiring and grateful public.
South Africans always make the mistake of believing that the country is defined by one political party, the same error made by the people under the apartheid government. While the value of strong opposition parties do create a concept of responsibility, South Africa has a multicultural concern. The long list of failed election promises including failed political appointments and failures within the ANC have now weakened the once great movement and have brought the party into disrepute. Years ago, the ANC women’s league, a powerful and relevant unit, had become a joke. The ANC youth league once a radical and powerful unit is now a bankrupt mess.
Zuma is the responsible person to both the ANC and the country. Poverty is the face of South Africa, and Zuma is the cause. Only the ignorant would deny that others such as Tutu or Madonsela are not also considered the faces of South Africa. Zuma by virtue of being president is synonymous with being a face of the country.
South Africans want a peaceful, well-balanced country, and a political party that will genuinely help the poor. Today, most politicians are playing mind games; it is all about self-enrichment. Zuma, according to many is corrupt, yet there are others who are real beneficiaries of corruption. How will South Africa achieve prosperity, and respect when Zuma as the face of South Africa portrays the fall of a great country?
The ANC is a liberation organization that is radical, retributive and corrupt. Now the ANC is the government making decisions that do not benefit the country. In the 21 years of leadership the ANC has not shown one example of excellence; in reality the ANC has shown quite the opposite. The ANC in 21 years has dismantled the country socially, economically, environmentally in record time. It is a crime against humanity to let the people of South Africa suffer the fundamental human rights and needs. In 21 years, the ANC has not attempted to reduce the poverty and suffering of the majority.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Rand Daily Mail: The decline and fall of the ANC empire
Featured Photo Courtesy of GovernmentZA’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License