Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Liberation movements, in the majority, subscribe to the principle of democratic centralism. The essence of this principle is that decisions are arrived at in a democratic fashion and once a decision is taken it becomes binding on all, even those who were opposed. Everyone is expected to drive and defend the said decision.

There is a narrative being driven by the CR17 crusade and those opposed to former president Jacob Zuma that he and he alone is responsible for the “nine wasted years”. This narrative is also driven by the media and is now getting traction.

I am not certain to what extent this narrative has found acceptance within the Zondo commission. However, it certainly does not emanate from the commission.

The application for recusal by Zuma is thus an attempt to address this narrative and place the blame on the commission when in actual fact it should be directed at the party, the ANC, and how it is painting Zuma in the negative.

Zuma was not a dictator who took decisions on his own. The party adhered to its constitution and met all its constitutional obligations of holding national executive committee meetings, national general council conferences and national conferences during the “nine wasted years”.

If the principle of democratic centralism is anything to go by, ANC ratified and endorsed all the decisions taken during the “nine wasted years”. To now disown Zuma and throw him under the bus, so to speak, is not only disingenuous of the party but downright cowardice.

Inasmuch as the ANC stood up, not only once but seven times, in parliament and not only defended Zuma but blocked every motion of no confidence presented, the party should, out of principle, drive the same notion and stand by their man. In the words of the then secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, “no army sends its troops to be commanded by enemy generals”. I dare say, no party sends its president to be crucified by foreign generals, especially on decisions that the party endorsed or turned a blind eye to.

The Zondo commission should be allowed to deal with its mandate and not be distracted by side issues that reside more with the party than with the commission.

Azwiambi “Azwi” Tshitangano
Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (EFF),  writing in a personal capacity

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