Mighty ANC Falling: Beyond the Magashule-Ramaphosa Contest

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Johannesburg – Sometimes ancestors are considerate enough to give us a glimpse of the impending end.

The ancestral missive in this regard can be delivered to us via a tragic dream of black and white cinema or through a series of incidents and accidents, which are becoming “more and more curious” day by day, like Alice l ‘remarked one day in Wonderland.

Over the past few months, it seems that the ANC has been visited by a lot of madness and extraordinarily strange behavior.

Over the past few weeks, chilling recordings of moments at the NEC (National Executive Committee) and similar meetings have been generously shared and strategically leaked on social media.

In some general assemblies of the Mpumalanga branch, there have been reports of flying chairs and corpses.

Earlier this year, former President Jacob Zuma dared and asked the Zondo Commission and the Constitutional Court to authorize his arrest. His “troops” are waiting for the police in Nkandla.

Most of us, arame skepsels, cannot wrap our ordinary minds around the quadrillion rand, supposedly offered to all of us by an Asian entity, who loves us – “White Spiritual Boy”.

But alas, according to Tokyo Sexwale, the money was stolen before it even landed on our shores. Right before, during and after his rather incredible five-year suspension from the ANC, former ANC strongman Supra Mahumapelo was seen singing and dancing with a level of joie de vivre last seen as he was still prime minister.

Many wonder if it is normal for a man recently sentenced to the supervision of former President Thabo Mbeki to sing so warmly and dance so vigorously, “and so on and stuff like that” as he likes to say. Mbeki.

But perhaps the strangest thing was the behavior of the suspended ANC secretary general. Ace Magashule refused to step down. He was therefore suspended – the very first ANC general secretary to be suspended.

Of all the senior “losers” of the 2017 ANC elective conference, Magashule was the most recalcitrant and the least able to “move on”.

He seems to have left his soul to Nasrec, unable to see past the pain of the “loss” of Nasrec. Instead of seeing his election to the post of SG as an olive branch and a mandate of unity, he seems to have interpreted it as a license to wage a war of attrition against the “victors” of Nasrec throughout. five-year term.

His frequent reference to Zuma as “the president” and to Ramaphosa as “Cyril” is more than the Freudian proverb.

This week, a viral clip of Magashule speaking on the phone appeared. We hear him say: “Nothing is happening with me, I’m still secretary general, I suspended, eh eh, the NEC suspended Cyril …”

This brings us to the more Trumpian aspect of Magashule’s behavior during this week. After receiving his letter of suspension, he appealed against his own suspension, an appeal he seems to have accepted on his own, which is why he was able to relax before proceeding with the suspension of Cyril Ramaphosa in retrospect. and vengeful, in the name of the NEC.

Thank goodness he stopped before hanging Jessie Duarte, Pule Mabe and Paul Mashatile. Magashule appears to be of the opinion that the decision to suspend him violates the policies and the constitution of the ANC. He also seems to think it violates the constitution of the earth. I would be surprised if he did not both take to the streets to mobilize popular support and to the country’s courts for relief. In his bestselling book How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins suggests five stages of decline that precede the collapse of an organization.

These steps could equally well apply to the decline of leaders and personalities:

1. Hubris born of success.
2. More unruly pursuit.
3. Disclaimer of risk and peril.
4. Seize for salvation.
5. Surrender to insignificance and death.

The largest ANC factions are suspended between stages four and five. The ANC is desperately trying to get out of the zone of decline.

The hope is that the withdrawal resolution will trigger organizational renewal or at least create a sense of renewal enough to fool the electorate. In this way, the fall can be postponed for another five years.

• Maluleke is Principal Investigator at the Center for the Advancement of Fellowships at the University of Pretoria. Follow him on Twitter @ProfTinyiko.

Tinyiko Maluleke

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