LETTER: First shots fired
The first shots have been fired in the ANC’s battle against itself, but it's not a battle to rejoice about
The first shots have been fired in the ANC’s battle against itself. President Cyril Ramaphosa is trying to get the country back on the right track through democratic processes. He uses the courts and parliament.
Radical elements are already focusing on symbolic targets such as our courts and parliament. It should not come as a surprise.
Also within the ANC, radicals have already fired the first salvos. Lindiwe Sisulu has shown the colours of that faction with her ill-advised attack on the president.
The battle will intensify as the end of Ramaphosa’s term as ANC president draws nearer. The Zuma faction’s instigation last year that led to widespread unrest and looting was an indication of how intense things could get.
It is not a battle to rejoice about. It could lead to instability and there will be collateral damage. The long-expected split in the ANC may become a reality. That may be a good thing if the moderate faction comes out strong and open to coalitions with moderate opposition parties. The outcome of the recent local elections provided an indication of what could be expected.
On the other hand, there is the danger that radical factions may be strong enough to form a government with like-minded radicals such as the EFF. That would lead to instability.
Ramaphosa favours a continued ANC government, but there are clear efforts to weaken his position and even to work him out. This provides a huge challenge for opposition parties to get their act together and grow their pool of votes, to place themselves in a strong position to negotiate in such a scenario.
2022 may be a watershed year. Let us fasten our seat belts.
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