8 March 2013

South Africa: Afrika: the Other Side of the Coin: South Africa's Process of Political Fragmentation to Form a New Coalition


AN intentionally misinformed and strategically misguided psychological debate that South Africa's ruling African National Congress is led by a corrupt, immoral, indecisive and fraudulently elected president and his equally corrupt cronies from the government buildings in Pretoria and the ANC headquarters, in Luthuli House, in Johannesburg's CBD, is part of an orchestrated right-wing strategy to destroy the credibility of the ANC.

It means a racist, Afro-pessimist perception is being fomented that indigenous black Africans cannot rule and therefore, are not fit to run their own affairs in their country of origin.

In the run-up to the provincial elections in 2014, most political opposition parties, with the assistance of academia, churches, civil society, the owners of the corporate mainstream media, industry, capital and mining attempted to form a united front against the ANC and its voter base.

Former Bantustan military dictator, General Bantu Holomisa, currently heading his own political party, the United Democratic Movement (UDM), has pushed for some time to unite the political opposition.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Helen Zille, picked it up and now runs with it. This is done by sowing the seeds of disunity in the country.

The new platform, Dr Mamphela Ramphele's Agang SA would most likely form the unifying entity to structure this new coalition under its umbrella.

There would be no surprise:

- When the 'Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)' in the KwaZulu Natal Province;

- the break-away party from the ANC immediately after the ANC's conference in Polokwane, Limpopo in 2007, the Congress of the People (COPE) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) both in the Eastern Cape Province;

- the Democratic Alliance (DA) in a joint effort with the Independent Democrats (ID) in the Western Cape Province and some pockets in other parts of the country;

- the minute African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP);

- the all-white right-wing party, Freedom Front Plus (FF+);

- the new trade union 'AMCU' with a possible further break-away by disgruntled members of the COSATU affiliate, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) together under the leadership of the current Secretary General of COSATU, Zwelinzima Vavi; ...

would form a new coalition in opposition to the ruling ANC. In all likelihood, many members of civil society would enter the political fray through Ramphele's Agang SA too.

Senior political leaders mentioned to possibly join that broad-based platform are former minister of finance and ANC NEC member, Trevor Manuel, and former South African ambassador to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tony Leon.

With secured resources, Dr Ramphele, Moeletsi Mbeki and their team would woo the black middle class to join.

The biggest recruitment drive for Agang SA would be to sign up the restless, unemployed youth, estimated at 10 million 'born frees' without any knowledge, or understanding of history and an obsession with anything American bling-bling. Dr Ramphele offers her new 'platform' for a 'national democratic debate', in the hope that they will join the broad political coalition.

Once all this is achieved, Agang SA plans to register as a political party to enter next year's provincial elections. A coalition would be formed rather rapidly. And once a new coalition has been formed, the lobby within would most likely nominate Dr Mamphela Ramphele as its new overall leader, as its first president.

In the meantime, the aforementioned coalition would work harder at breaking the ANC up from outside, as its network inside the ruling party has since the ANC Conference in Mangaung in December 2012, been exposed and whittled away into the political wilderness.

A senior group consisting of a former judge, now senior counsel and advocate, two respected attorneys with political and economic interests and a globally well-known political leader met with this writer to inform on 'a plan of action to discredit the African National Congress'.

They told this author, 'One of the planned moves to weaken the African National Congress is, to serve Constitutional Court papers on the ANC's National Executive (NEC) to have the Mangaung Conference declared null and void and the election of Jacob Zuma as ANC president defined as fraudulent and undemocratic.'

'In an attempt to discredit and weaken the ruling party, this is planned for immediately after the conclusion of the Marikana hearings in Rustenburg. A win for the legal team over the actions of the South African Police Services (SAPS) at the Marikana mine in the North West Province, would be a victory not only for the legal team of the mine workers, but also for the new trade union movement, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

'It would strengthen them in their bid to seek to attack the ANC in the Constitutional Court. Such attempts could also split Cosatu,' the eminent group explained to this columnist.

The group further explained, 'The above-mentioned plan for legal action to be rolled out against the ANC NEC will be followed up with an all-out push for a new ANC Conference in December this year, in 2013. The strategists behind that move would try to push for deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to become the next ANC and country president.'

By next year in 2014, the above-analysed political coalition hopes to win not only the Western Cape Province, but also the Gauteng and the Northern Cape provinces.

By its own admission, the DA as part of this new coalition will strive to take over government by 2019.

• Udo Froese is a non-institutionalised, independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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