2017 started off as a year of reflecting on the previous year of politics with the role of women in politics being scrutinized. This year we have seen the ANCWL move to being patriarchal queens and princesses protecting the ANC brotherhood. But the events that have transpired in the recent week have left the country in a state of confusion on the near future.
At this moment, the reasons are based on speculation. There seems to be a speculation made by Vytjie Mentor on the recalling of former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan. However, these claims have been disputed but one cannot help but wonder whether the recalling had to do with the fact that Gordhan was the one Minister that was not persuaded by a plate of curry.
Subsequently, one cannot even begin to fathom why this shuffle took place. What the country does know, if anything, is that the ANC NEC believes that this was done without their consultation and that the order came from somewhere else. The somewhere could easily be aligned to the Gupta brothers or the fact that the Ministers did not agree to the infamous nuke deal.
The press conference held by former Treasury Ministers revealed the dirty little secrets of the President and the depth of the influence the Gupta’s have on him. Allegations made reference to false intelligence reports, how the President is ignoring the corruption and how he does his own thing.
What we can learn from this debacle is the wise words echoed by the former Finance Minister. We can draw the following lessons:
- The public should mobilise. Fragmented voices don’t have the weight it requires. Masses make history, not individuals.
- It is safe to say, if decisions are being made elsewhere – which determine the future of institutions and impact on the country, we should all be very afraid.
- Our souls are not for sale. Our country is not for sale.
- Why must we deal with people who are never seen in the public sphere? Why don’t they come out face to face, so we can debate face to face? We are an open democracy in South Africa, we have nothing to hide.
From these lessons, we can see the need for South Africans to unite and to question the current manner in which democracy is being applied. The nation needs to look beyond blind loyalty and question the decisions made. We need to question the roles we have and determine whether we truly are in the democracy we know we deserve.
The most awkward moment is when Zuma’s own deputy blue ticked the move and released a statement condemning the move. It’s even more awkward when the ‘faves’ and protectors turned against Number 1 and showed him that the people matter more than his needs.
From a comic sense we can easily say Zuma was hating because he couldn’t get into the club i.e. the funeral of struggle stalwart Uncle Kathy.
This is not the first year the country has seen a shuffle by the Head of State. In December 2015, the country saw a brief stint within the Finance portfolio where a minister was appointed on Friday and was later removed within the next week. Will Malusi last longer than van Rooyen? Or will this be another stint where the President flexes his muscles to show those that oppose him who the boss really is?
Let’s see what this week will reveal. Like sands through the hour-glass, so are the days of our lives in South Africa.
Sanelisiwe Owethu Ntabeni
Writer & Activist