News / Opinion / Columns

Martin Williams
3 minute read
20 Jun 2018
8:30 am

The ANC is not playing a beautiful game

Martin Williams

North West, Free State, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are scoring so many own goals, they are handing the game to their opponents.

Jacob Zuma playing soccer. Picture: Getty Images

Football, as Scottish-born Liverpool manager Bill Shankly (1913-1981) decreed, is not a matter of life or death. It is far more important than that. But football does provide a metaphor for less significant pastimes such as politics.

Coupled with uncertainty about when next the electricity will go off, Fifa World Cup Russia 2018 has drawn attention away from what would otherwise be daily headline news: the massive internal ructions in the ANC. Africa’s oldest liberation movement needs intensive care, but the media are looking elsewhere.

Eskom and football are crowding the media space, leaving less room for politics. And the limited political terrain is occupied by racist ramblings about too many Indians and not enough chiefs. Whatever game the reds are playing, the rules do not apply to them. Why not? The Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court, etc, obviously do not understand the off-side rule.

And what about the big game? When will we know who is on top?

Team ANC, playing in black, green and gold, are disorganised in defence. They lack firepower up front, where the much-hyped “New Dawn” McBuffalo keeps shooting blanks at a crowded goalmouth. Every time this captain seems set to score, things fall apart in the provincial midfield, where the worst enemies are fellow team-mates.

North West, Free State, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are scoring so many own goals, they are handing the game to their opponents. An own goal is when you do something that puts your side at a disadvantage and gives the other team unearned points.

Are they being stupid, or is there another, deeper game being played here? How about that eNCA Twitter poll on Monday? “#YourView: Do you think #JacobZuma should return to the presidency? Results just after 3pm on #DStv403”?

Is that so crazy that it is actually quite clever? We all know that Zuma cannot return because the SA constitution says no person may hold office as president for more than two five-year terms. But right now, the governing party is keen to change the constitution to speed up the expropriation of land without compensation. Why would the dysfunctional, rudderless, corrupt ANC not want to also change the constitution for a different reason, such as giving Zuma another chance?

So what if he is a constitutional delinquent who faces 783 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering? Surely he is exactly the person they want back in charge. All the crooks in the provinces could then carry on stealing. It does not matter that he is already 76 years old. All they need is a willing accomplice, who will keep the public purse open for them. Looter continua!

That is the play at Eskom too. Let us not be kept in the dark. Team Zupta still have skin in the game. Call it Russian roulette if you like. One more shot … at state capture.

I’ll wager that these things are connected: the turmoil in ANC provincial structures, the repeated demand for a special national conference (to recall Ramaphosa) and the sabotage at Eskom.

For Zuptas, it is not game over.

Martin Williams, DA city councillor in Johannesburg.

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