News / Opinion / Columns

Sydney Majoko
3 minute read
23 Jul 2019
9:35 am

Think before you act rashly, DA and EFF

Sydney Majoko

The opposition parties have given up trying to do what is right and are relying on expediency to carry them through.

Cyril Ramaphosa (picture: Siyabulela Duda) and Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Picture: Jacques Nelles)

The news cycle has been spinning so fast recently that even the most news-conscious of people can be forgiven for feeling like they’re a hamster in a wheel, running furiously but going nowhere.

It has become so furious that one can be forgiven for temporarily losing sight of what is wrong and right.

At first glance, all this might appear to happen naturally, as things do in the course of politics, but a closer inspection reveals that none of what is happening now is independent of the other things.

Former President Jacob Zuma appearing in the way that he did at the state capture inquiry, naming former comrades as spies, and Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s sustained aggressiveness towards the president and those around him form part of one big whole.

The biggest mistake that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s faction made on winning the ANC’s presidential campaign in December 2017 was to underestimate the size and viciousness of an already evident fightback campaign from those who benefitted from state capture.

But being astute to win a party election is no guarantee for long-term survival. And that is what is coming back to bite Ramaphosa now, the temporary friends that assured his ascendency to the highest office are not there backing him right now against the current fightback.

The opposition parties have given up trying to do what is right and are relying on expediency to carry them through. It is convenient for the Democratic Alliance (DA) to support the public protector in finding information to rule Ramaphosa violated the executive code of ethics.

That’s what opposition political parties do. Unsettle the ruling party. But a question needs to be asked of the DA: to what end is this convenient?

What about the DA’s other side of the coin, that says the public protector must go because she’s incompetent?

Unfortunately, the politics of wanting to do “what’s right for me right now” has also infected their fellow opposition erstwhile friends, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Look at the unqualified support they have given the public protector in her fight against Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordhan.

The question asked of the DA must be asked of the EFF: to what end are these politics of convenience?

What good is achieved by supporting what paves the way for a fightback campaign faction whose rule we have seen destroy state institutions in the past decade?

Sure, the failure of the commission and Ramaphosa’s anticorruption crusade might have temporary rewards for some in the EFF, but what about the bigger picture?

It’s always best to remember that however fluid and incomprehensible the situation looks, there is a side that seeks to do good for the country and one that has done bad for the country.

Political expediency is bad for the overall health of the republic. No matter how badly one wants to deal with a festering wound, amputating the whole appendage because it’s quicker only creates a bigger long-term problem.

Introspection is required in the opposition camp.

Sydney Majoko.

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