Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ANC in-fighting and the way forward
Mineweb, part of the Moneyweb stable, carries a fairly pessimistic op-ed piece regarding the current ANC government, referring to its use of state organs for party power, internal 'dirty tricks' campaigns and corruption. The piece, along with this op-ed piece in the Business Day, certainly does however leave no doubt that the next two years leading up to the 2008 elections will be difficult days for the country.

With the raft of conspiracy charges coming out of every camp, and the threat of more politically-charged trials on the way, the ANC itself is in danger of hemorrhaging over the next 20 months. Personally, I don't think this hemorrhaging will take the form of party split, but in terms of party credibility. The succession battle has only just begun, and more opponents will step into the vacuum left by the politically injured. This battle will be very ugly, given the power players involved, and it does seem to hold important clues about the future success of our nascent democracy.

This could herald the first stage of public dissatisfaction with the ANC, as their traditional voting blocks become jaded by the mess of politics, and more apathetic about the prospects for real improvements in their own lives by the power of their vote. This may in turn begin to pull back the curtains on the traditional voting patterns for the liberation party, and hold new hope for opposition parties. This will undoubtedly not occur at the onset of the 2008 elections, but the 2013 elections may prove a different story.

Whatever the case, the first clues will be in the various player's responses to the Zuma rape case, and if he gets through that one, the critical corruption case, as well as the impending decision by Jackie Selebi regarding charges to be brought in the hoax email debacle.