GARETH VAN ONSELEN: Why the idea of ‘unity’ is potentially dangerous
For the best ideas to triumph, they must withstand critical review, and the same applies internally, to any particular political party
You hear it everywhere and across the political spectrum — “We need unity”. President Cyril Ramaphosa has made the idea one of his calling cards. The DA, currently the antithesis of unity and, to a large degree, where the ANC was a few years ago, is increasingly forced to evoke the concept. But is it all that it is cut out to be?
The first thing to understand, particularly with regard to the ANC, is that this is a highly authoritarian party; at least historically. “Discipline” is hardwired into ANC language and organisational policy in the Leninist sense of the idea.