Which bull has the biggest horns at the ANC farm, Phalaphala or Digital Vibes?

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by Dr Fikile Vilakazi 

The African National Congress (ANC) has a huge decision to make at their upcoming National Conference in the next couple of days, and the question is ‘which bull has the biggest horns at the ANC farm, is it Phalaphala or Digital Vibes or both? This is a figure of speech in case readers are wondering. Another question following that one is ‘which bull to pull down, is it Phalaphala or Digital Vibes or both’? One thing for sure is that there is a bull or bulls that must be pulled by its or their horns inside the ANC’s conference. There may be a bully somewhere and that bully must come down and they may not be singular, they may be multiplied. Can the ANC discern who or which is/are the bull/s that must be pulled down or out within its ranks?

Whilst the ANC wonders and lingers on these questions, a citizen of South Africa is also asking a question in their minds and hearts, ‘could it be that the whole ANC is the bull we are looking for to pull down and out as society?’. Very difficult questions facing the ANC and the citizen of South Africa in light of everything else that is happening in the country since 1994. Are we dealing with the same bull or two different species of bulls here or a hybrid? South Africa let us discern.

Digital vibes scandal is tender money and Phalaphala money is President Cyril Ramaphosa’s money from his business proceeds of selling Ankoles and/or buffalos. So, this may mean that Digital Vibes’ is a case of corruption against the tax base of South Africa and Phalaphala is a case of a business transaction that may have gone wrong and possibly money laundering which may have equally robbed the South African Revenue Services of the nation because it was not declared to the tax person/s of the country as required by the laws of South Africa, but at least it is not money that is stolen from the purse (tax) of the nation directly like it seems to be the case with digital vibes. Secondly, Phalaphala money may be the property of the president through his business, but it may have come illegally into the country whilst Digital Vibes’ is money that was lawfully allocated to the Ministry of Health which was headed by former Minister Zweli Mkhize, yet may have been misused through its tender processes that are linked to nepotism and corruption in ways that his (Dr Zweli Mkhize’s) son’s business may have benefitted from the Digital Vibes tender. Complex issues indeed.

Whatever it may be, it seems that both President Ramaphosa and Dr Mkhize have something to clear with citizens, if they each have to be the possible next ANC president and possibly of South Africa. This is made worse by the fact that both of them belong to the ANC, a political organization that has been dragging on corruption scandals for many years now as confirmed by the State Capture (Zondo) Commission report. Their linen is dirty in the public domain.

There is a saying that ‘two bulls cannot stay in the same kraal’, so this means one must come down or out. The question is which bull has the strongest horns at the ANC farm? Is it Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa or Dr Zweli Mkhize? I suppose the outcomes of the parliamentary dealing with the report of an independent panel on Phalaphala followed by the ANC National Conference will tell in the next couple of days.

Where does that leave the citizen of South Africa? Nowhere in my view! We are held in abeyance and we are held hostage in this ANC-led constitutional democracy. It may be that we also have to make our own decisions as citizens whilst the ANC spirals from one chaos to another.  This is urgent South Africa before the country plunges into an ANC pandemonium! This is energy and it may easily be transferable to the rest of the nation. KwaZulu-Natal July unrest in 2021 is just one example of this energy. It is contagious.

Dr Fikile Vilakazi is a Political analyst from the University of KwaZulu Natal