Zuma’s endorsement of new party aims to destabilise ANC: Majola

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Professor Mazwe Majola of the Worldwide Institute of Leadership and Development says former president Jacob Zuma’s move to support a new political party is aimed at destabilising the African National Congress (ANC).

On Saturday, Zuma announced that he would vote for uMkhonto Wesizwe. Zuma also called on other ANC members, MKMVA members and indeed all South Africans to vote for the new organisation.

Speaking at the ANC’s National General Council in 2015, then-ANC president Jacob Zuma spoke of the need for discipline in the ranks of the ruling party.

“It should be remembered that the ANC is a broad church with many ideological strands it is thus inevitable that we will at times have differences in terms of leadership preferences or ideological posture to manage differences our movement abides by the principle of democratic centralism that dictates that once a decision is taken either by persuasion or vote such a decision is binding on all members including those who initially opposed it.”

Eight years later Zuma’s tune is somewhat different. His statement endorsing the Umkhonto weSizwe party was read by his daughter Duduzile at the weekend.

“Those of us who will never forsake or abandon the ANC feel it necessary that we undertake a process to rescue the ANC from the wrong hands bring it back to the people and restore its former glory. Given the death of democratically elected structures of the ANC, the role of money is determining electoral outcomes since the CR17 scandal of the blatant white monopoly capture of the organisation and the suspected fraudulent manipulation of conference outcomes I have full sympathy for those comrades who believe that the ANC cannot be saved from within its non-existent structures something more bold and creative needs to be done by those that love the real ANC.”

It is a development that one analyst has described as unbecoming of the former ANC president. Professor Majola is a leadership expert at the Worldwide Leadership Institute.

“It’s not the right way to do things if you’re a disciplined cadre or a disciplined member of an organisation, because it’s a mass-based organisation and it’s an elected leadership that has a certain duration. That’s what happened to him, they weren’t happy with the others, they stayed inside until they removed him, so if you love the organisation, you work within the system, you mobilise inside so that the next term you remove the leader you’re not happy with.”

As an ex-officio member of the ANC’s NEC, Zuma has the platform to raise concerns within the ANC’s top leadership structure between elective conferences.

However, with the ascendency of Cyril Ramaphosa to the presidency and the legal woes Zuma has continued to face, it appears he is disillusioned, seeking other means to gain the attention of the ANC.

But will Zuma’s move have any impact on the governing party?

Majola further explains, “Yes, they will affect the ANC. They will injure the ANC because they will confuse people. There are those who would ordinarily vote for the ANC but will opt… others will opt to vote for this party which means that it’s going to weaken and reduce the number of the people who vote for the ANC. Others will abstain because there are those people definitely who are not happy and dissatisfied about Ramaphosa’s leadership.”

Despite his about-turn, Zuma is adamant that he is a loyal member of the ANC. The party meanwhile says it has noted Zuma’s announcement, but declined to comment on the matter.

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