Struggle veteran, Ronnie Kasrils, says ordinary people need to help save the ANC from itself. Kasrils was speaking at the launch of his book: A Simple Man – Kasrils and the Zuma Enigma.
The former intelligence minister says President Jacob Zuma is but one example of the corruption which has set in to the movement.
“Our economy is collapsing and soon there won’t even be money to pay out social grants.” That’s the prognosis from struggle veteran, Ronnie Kasrils.
He further says, “And it looks like it’s getting worse under his regime and under the inept ministers that he has in place, because they’re all serving him they want to ensure that an extension of Zuma is elected as leader of the ANC and the country so that the dynasty is preserved so we looking bankruptcy in the face.”
Zuma and Kasrils served in the liberation movement.
“So it’s a megalomani that this man as he is immoral he cannot see that he does anything wrong and there’s this aspect which is an echo of exile, because I know from the discussions with Zuma even then he would engage, certainly with his smile give you time and listen to everybody talking but in the end Jacob Zuma would have a position.”
Kasrils remembers when they returned from exile in the early 1990’s.
“Almost immediately there are vultures looking at all of us coming back from exile he’s not the only mark, the only target, but he’s a big big catch in relation to people who clearly are going to be the new power of the country and we see this with Zuma, its talked about well before the trial of Shabir Shaik and the rumours abound of in terms of how he’s picking up the bribes everywhere but it’s all small change in terms of what’s going on now, because now its billions there it was a few million.”
The trade-off of the economy to white monopoly capital in exchange for political power, says Kasrils, created the conditions for corruption to thrive:
“If you do not control the economy of the country, your political independence, we saw it happening in Africa tenfold, is going to be compromised and in the end you’re going to become just a neo-colony in bed with the capitalist countries of this world and you can say goodbye to really changing the relations of real economic power in a country.”
Kasrils says Nelson Mandela saw the rot setting in way back in 1997, but did no more than to issue a warning at the African National Congress’s National Elective Conference.
“Where Madiba says he doesn’t name names, but he clearly had Zuma in mind and others that the ANC was falling into this pit of corruption and self-enrichment in which people were joining to advance themselves and not serve the people but in terms of the ANC even at that time of Mandela and Mbeki and certainly it breaks under Zuma, there is no attempt to take this problem at the scuff of the neck and say we won’t have this descent.”
Responding to a question about why the ANC hadn’t recalled Zuma, as they did with Thabo Mbeki in 2008, Kasrils says the ANC is too far gone.
“Great question. There’s one word: hypocrisy. They’ve gone rotten as you say compare the misdemeanour the so called crime of Mbeki to what is happening with zuma and what he’s doing they should have long ago dealt with this man and saved themselves from being voted out of power from losing support the way they losing it and from the rot that set in.”
So the bottom line seems to be that the ANC is both complicit in and crippled by corruption.
“But unless civil society and society at large begins to mobilise to put pressure on the ANC and on the system we not going to get a better reformed ANC, but to get rid of corruption takes a long time but you need to start from the top. That was the green light for corruption the ANC putting Zuma there and then you’ve gotta be tough on corruption.”
The book comes ahead of the ANC’s 54th Elective Conference.