Veteran slams clueless ANC
GERSHWIN WANNEBURG | 2017-03-27 06:53:45.0
A file photo of the ANC flag.
Image by: Stephanie de Sakutin
The ANC is suffering from poor leadership and a failure to move with the times, according to Khulu Mbatha in his new book, Unmasked: Why the ANC Failed to Govern.
Mbatha is one of the 101 ANC veterans who recently called for a consultative conference to deal with the crises besetting the party. He was a special adviser to former president and deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.
In his book he argues that the ANC’s troubles are far from new – and that the party was not ready to rule in 1994. Since then, the ANC’s undoing has stemmed from its failure to address the country’s economic challenges.
Mbatha says that a series of economic strategies, including the National Development Plan, have left some ministers’ heads spinning.
“There are ministers serving today who have no idea as to what policies are being implemented. They simply do not understand in which direction we are going and how this economy can perform,” Mbatha writes.
“In the face of alarming levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality it is frightening and dangerous.”
The book tracks the ANC from its years in exile through to the negotiations that led to the first democratic elections.
Mbatha paints a picture of a movement fragmented by its years of banishment and shaken by the military onslaught of the apartheid regime – but buoyed by the stellar leadership of Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela, who are frequently quoted in Unmasked.
“The lack of a visionary leadership hinders the second and necessary transition. If there is no leadership, nothing will influence the economy to grow.”
Mbatha concludes that the ANC has not come to terms with its status as a ruling party but wrongly insists on defining itself as a liberation movement.
Its use of terms such as the “national democratic revolution” is an obvious sign that the ANC is living in the past, Mbatha writes.
“There are solutions out there. But the ANC has not only alienated itself from the people. It has also alienated itself from the reality that surrounds it.”