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By Sydney Majoko


GNU: Ideology will not fix South Africa

Labels such as 'sellout' resurface as ANC considers coalition with DA, challenging its revolutionary image.

One of the biggest pastimes of all left-leaning organisations of the struggle era was finding labels for all they deemed counter-revolutionary: sellout is one such label that got thrown around quite easily.

Anyone who appeared to be getting cosy with the enemy was seen as betraying their principles in the fight for liberation.

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It is a term that has now found its way back into regular discourse because the ANC finds itself in the unfamiliar territory of ducking accusations of being sellouts because it is considering going into a government of national unity with the “enemy”, the Democratic Alliance (DA).

According to the trade unions, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party and all woke folks, choosing to govern with the DA in whatever form will confirm what all of them have always thought: the ANC sold out the revolution and continues to do so in the hands of the man they have dubbed an enemy stooge.

Accusations that Cyril Ramaphosa is a sellout are not new or surprising. He did become an overnight billionaire after being left out of Nelson Mandela’s first government. It’s easy for mud thrown at him to stick.

But the question is, what choice does Ramaphosa’s ANC have?

First things first: it needs to sink into the heads of all the “revolutionaries” that the ANC has the power to form a national government. Loss of political power comes with severe limitations.

The biggest is that it does not have the luxury of dismissing everyone who is not ideologically aligned with their policies.

That is a luxury reserved only for organisations that get more than 50% of the vote in general elections.

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The unions, the EFF and MK party played a big role in ensuring that the ANC lost its majority at the polls.

To now point an accusatory finger at ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula and Ramaphosa for being sellouts shows an amazing lack of introspection. South Africa chose negotiations to end apartheid rule in 1994.

The ANC got the mandate to govern following that negotiated settlement. There was no winner or loser as there would be in a war situation.

The politically negotiated settlement meant that the “revolutionaries” and the “enemy” both stayed in the political arena.

Voters have now said “we do not care how you do it, just govern properly”.

If the voters had chosen to send another message they would have picked a clear winner in the polls. If the unions and revolutionaries like the EFF want to point at sellouts, they must point at the electorate.

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In its 10 years of existence the EFF has not got enough of a mandate to form a government anywhere. It has made it very clear in the past and now that it will not work with the ANC.

That leaves the DA and MK as the only viable parties to form a government with. It has nothing to do with principles and ideology. It is simple mathematics. No politician wants to give up power voluntarily.

The politicians left in the ANC after it spawned the Congress of the People, the EFF and MK party will form a government with whoever will allow them to continue earning a living.

All South Africa needs is a focused and functional government.

If the ANC is deemed ideological sellouts because it does not wish to leave a dangerous vacuum that will be filled by chaotic parties and anarchists, maybe that is just what they need to do – form a government at all costs.