Home News South Africa does not need a part-time President

South Africa does not need a part-time President

South Africa does not need a part-time President

The ANC had its policy conference in July this year. It was dominated by in-fighting about a second term for the current president and the allegations of corruption against him and others, as well as the step-aside rule.

This past weekend, the National Executive Committee met in preparation for the December elective conference and the same issues are dominating t he agenda.

The ANC has, at branch and national levels, descended into a party with no visible evidence of its much-vaunted renewal and without any cohesive vision for South Africa. It shows the people of the country it governs that all it has finally become are a bunch of aged and angered activists who want their turn at the power levers and cash registers of South Africa. Its overall stance on corruption is particularly blurred, for if they were to be applied equitably, people like the president and several others should all be stepping aside.

Both the July Policy Conference and the November NEC meeting have shown that the party has lost all evidence of being an organisation based on principled policies, practices and culture. It has become a place of fierce contestation, not based on any policy or principle but rather on the bitter pill of personality and personal interest. This culture seems to be, sadly, fuelled by the personality cult that has demonised and is busy destroying the ANC. Practices of rationality and sense-making political leadership on behalf of a sinking country are not on its agenda.

The ANC is a cash-strapped organisation without the ability to ensure the full functioning of its branches and its systems of integrity are in collapse everywhere. It has virtually no way of ensuring whether a branch or delegate at its December conference has standing or will not succumb to the corruption of the money lords.

The ANC members talk openly about those who are “eating” and need to be removed for others to “eat”. It is nauseating to hear it being said so blatantly among members. The culture of office-bearers who are there to be servants of the country and Constitution appears to have evaporated into thin air. What has the promised renewal of the ANC achieved?

Cyril Ramaphosa has shown that he considers both his role as president of the ANC and president of South Africa as secondary and part-time to his primary interest, which is to be in business. A country facing the levels of economic challenges that we do have, a president and party that acts like they are all at a holiday resort while governing a flourishing corporation that prints money. South Africa cannot afford a part-time president. As that, sadly, is what Ramaphosa has become.

His many “I am shocked” statements are an insight into where he spends his time: not on addressing the pain of his people but on the priorities of his businesses. And for that reason, he should not lead the country beyond December. That is the decision a principled party and a disappointed democracy should make in 2022 and 2024. Just as much as the ANC should not be beholden to an Aids denialist Mbeki or a captured Zuma, it should not cling to a part-time president.

Country duty should require the president to step away from all his business interest through a legally enforceable contract with Parliament and the people while in office. It really is that simple. It should be true of all political office-bearers.

South Africa requires a governing party with a profound sense of calling to lead and build a culture of national prosperity for all. It requires a president that sees this as his only occupation and duty. And he requires a team that shares that as its core integrity. South Africa does not deserve a part-time president and an unprincipled party.

* Lorenzo A Davids

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

Do you have something on your mind; or want to comment on the big stories of the day? We would love to hear from you. Please send your letters to arglet@inl.co.za.

All letters to be considered for publication, must contain full names, addresses and contact details (not for publication).

Original Article