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ANC: In the belly of the beast

James Nkambule


…..”All lobby groups are disbanded. Let us all unite behind the ANC. No one must be victimized for supporting this candidate or not supporting that candidate. Our task is to build a united ANC!”

These [words] formed a part of a speech given by the newly elected provincial chairperson of the ANC, the “Hurricane”. No ANC member would not be inspired by these words. His theme was unity, unity and more unity!

My! My! My! How wrong we were! Barely three months after this now obviously empty rhetorical hogwash, the opposite is happening. The rate and scale of the brutality of the “Show Ground victors”, against their fellow ANC members, whose cardinal sin was to support cde Lassy Chiwayo as chairperson of the province, is not only scary, but borders on revolutionary-thuggery!

These actions beg the question: “Is the ANC in our province in the belly of a beast?” I, with a heavy heart, argue, that yes indeed!

Real and genuine unity is not the absence of different opinions, nor the presence of an – unthinking-ever-cheering chorus of people in the provincial executive committee.

Real unity means a genuine commitment to the revolutionary theory and practice of our movement. It means reaching out to those you defeated, in seeking their hands of comradeship, brotherhood, sisterhood, it means recognizing that while you had the numbers at the conference, each cadre of our movement has particular skills which can benefit our movement.

I looked in four different dictionaries, for the definition of “a hurricane” all give one definition: a storm with violent wind! This gave me my first answer to the question: is the ANC in our province in the belly of a beast? There is nothing constructive that one can get from a hurricane.

The hurricane fed delegates, ANC membership and the general public, this twaddle about his commitment to organizational unity, then under the cover of darkness, unleashed his storm-troopers to do exactly what a “hurricane” does: destruction!

Firstly, in constituting the PWC, those who supported cde Lassy were left out, including cde Lassy himself! No sober thinking person, who claims to understand the ANC and its values, will justify the exclusion from the PWC of cdes Lassy Chiwayo, Candith Mashego-Dlamini and Fish Mahlalela, unless this person joined the ANC yesterday!

Let me be clear: I am not saying there are cdes who are indispensable in the ANC, no! I am saying the act of leaving these three cadres, with vast political and organizational skills, was vindictive and never aimed at building a strong ANC or a united ANC! The destruction had begun!

Secondly, the hurricane’s storm-troopers, comprising of a provincial  official of a non-existing SANCO, another individual, who left South Africa in 1991 (long after the conclusion of the Pretoria Minute in which the ANC suspended all armed actions) and now goes by the name of an “MK” (umkhontowesizwe) veteran, Lord have mercy! And the ANCYL official went on the war –path of destruction, true to their master’s name!

In ANC branch general meetings, they spit venom: ”we must crush all those people who supported Lassy out of the ANC and government”, “let us go and elect (at the Ehlanzeni regional conference) cdes who will not dilute the PEC of cde D.D. Mabuza “(the hurricane)” we must flush out all those who will not support cde D.D. Mabuza (the hurricane) to be a premier of the province! Is this the type of language we use in the ANC?

Do we describe other ANC members in such disparaging terms? Not in the ANC that I joined! Not in the ANC for whose activities landed me in prison at the tender age of 12 years! Not in the ANC for which so many cadres sacrificed their lives for! (By the way I have submitted a complaint with the S.G.O, regarding the Ehlanzeni regional conference, part of which includes a desire to know when and where was my branch general meeting held to choose both delegates and candidates, I am sure, as a member in good standing till 2012, had I been invited, I would have hobbled to that meeting)

In all these things, I keep asking myself: where is the provincial secretary? Why there are no REC or PEC members who preside over ANC B.G.M.s? Is this the reason why people wanted a weak P.E.C? This trio, which by no means is the only one, boasts anywhere, without thinking, that “lento sihamba nayo, u secretary uzwa ngathi”! Is our provincial ANC in the belly of a beast?

The divisive nature of the hurricane and his storm troopers, leave some of us, to start asking far deeper questions, such as: is our organization so heavily infiltrated? By whom? To achieve what? Are these the results of what some in our top five went to Israel for, in 1987, when the ANC had defined the Zionist state as an equal of apartheid South Africa? In surrendering our movement into the belly of a beast, we allowed ourselves to be infiltrated. The aim of this infiltration includes:

a) Maintaining weak ANC structures,

b) Dislodging genuine activists from the structures of the movement,

c) Maintaining a corrupt network to loot state resources,

d) Paying back to some of their previous handlers (we still do not know why Mossad, the Israel Intelligence will host a trade unionist for six months!)

e) Plant fear amongst the general ANC membership,

f) Through rumour mongering, assassinate the characters of genuine cadres of the ANC,

g) Flout ANC constitutional provisions as has happened at the Ehlanzeni regional conference!

h) And to frustrate ANC cadres to a point where they leave the movement sealing the fate of our movement to stay in the belly of the beast!

The recent project of the hurricane’s henchmen is to circulate a list of “preferred candidates for the provincial legislature”. This is sent through smses, small papers and discussed Nicodemusly in un-constitutional meetings. This list is rammed down the throats of an increasingly rented and mortgaged membership.

It is headed by the hurricane itself/himself, followed by his deputy; it includes a municipal manager who has drowned his municipality in financial chaos and service delivery nightmare. Of the present members of the legislature, it only has the hurricane (who is now addressed as premier-elect! I will come back to this), J.L.Mahlangu, Siphosezwe Masango, Madala Masuku and Pinky Phosa! The rest are people, as opposed to cadres, who should be observing the constitutional stipulations of our movement, with regards to certain waiting periods, before one can be considered for any position in the structures of the movement! This I am saying with respect, humility but also with AUTHORITY, because I know the constitution of our movement!

I again asked myself a question, on looking at this depressing list; what happened to cde Jackson Mthembu (an efficient and hard working M.E.C), Fish Mahlalela, another over-committed and hard working M.E.C), Busi Coleman, Dinah Pule, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, Craig Padayachee, Phumzile Ngwenya, William Lubisi, Screamer Skosana, Pogisho Pasha, Nomsa Mtsweni, D.S. Mkhwanazi, M.S. Ginindza and B.J Nobunga? Was there a mass funeral of these cdes which I missed, owing to being indoors almost daily? But such a funeral would have received coverage on television and newspapers? Why are they excluded from this list, if the Hurricanne were serious about Unity of the ANC?

But I also remembered that the ANC has, over the years built and produced quality cadres who can add value to the legislature. And I cast my mind wide and asked myself, where are the following cdes? Jomo Nyambi, Lssy Chiwayo, Cyril Ripinga, Busi Zulu, Comfort Makhanya, Chris Gololo, Tsietsie Tolo, Peter Mnisi, Paul van Castle, Mike Mabuza, Reginah Mhawule, Andries Gamede, Richard Lukhele, Evah Lubedze, Sipho Shongwe, Lucky Jacobs, Dudu Thwala, Jerry Ngomane, Speedy Mashilo, Buks Mahlangu, Henry Sengwayo, Sylvester Siboza, Victor Mashabane and Priscilia Themba? Where are they? Is our movement so cadreship starved, that we pick any palooka who comes our way? This, once more proves my point, that indeed our organization is in the belly of a beast!

Premier-elect? I thought a premier-elect, is someone whose name has been gazetted as an MPL after general elections, then nominated by his or her party in the legislature as a candidate for the position of premier, and if he or she wins, then that person is called premier-elect or premier designate, until he/she is inaugurated and sworn in as premier!

For the record, there is no premier-elect in this province presently! The membership of the ANC must get out of this cocoon of fear, and not be bitten by the same snake (oops!) twice! It is time that we rescue our movement, from the belly of this beast.

I worked with one cadre of the ANC, who was part of Commander Barney Molokoane’s team, which blew up the Sasol refinery during the liberation struggle. He spent over two decades on death row, Johhanness “KA” Shabangu, (I can bet with a R3 note if half of the current P.E.C know whom I am talking about!), not once did he call himself “an M.K veteran”!, In fact, once cde Jackson Mthembu introduced him at one conference as “the Sasol bomber”, and he would be so modest about it, to a point of being embarrassed! I worked with that industrious cadre, who was the regional commissar for almost two decades, of one of the ANC’s biggest and problematic regions in exile-Angola. [The late] January “Che Ogara” Masilela, not once did he call himself “a veteran” of Umkhonto Wesizwe, I worked with that luminary of the legal profession, who later headed logistics in umkhonto wesizwe in the Transvaal machinery (again I bet with a R3 note, two-thirds of the current P.E.C do not know what a “machinery’ was, they are probably thinking of a machine gun!), “Magwaza” “Freddie” Nakedi, Mathews Phosa, not once did he call himself a “veteran” of umkhonto wesizwe! Finally, I worked with that son of the soil, who did an advanced course in counter-intelligence, after completing training in guerilla warfare, specialized in the desert of Ethiopia in M.C.W (I am tired of betting!) and as a rural commander, who later became a camp commissar and political instructor at Kakulama Camp in Angola, “Lizo” Amos Fish Mahlalela, not once did he call himself “a veteran” of M.K! Then you find these youngsters (a comrade of mine in my village calls them “the Harare Declaration detachment”), who simply walked across the border into Mozambique and actually became a headache for the ANC, because it was busy repatriating combatants, civilians, detainees and refugees alike, back into the country, the ANC took them to Tanzania and gave them “crash courses” on guerilla warfare, some of them have never fired a a single shot in their lives, they do not even know the smell of gun-powder, yet they are quick to proclaim themselves “veterans” of M.K, some of them will do anything for patronage from the hurricane. They are an integral part of the morass the ANC in the province finds itself in, they should stop destroying our movement and go to school!

Once again, members of the ANC and genuine veterans of our glorious people’s army, rise now and stop the chaos that has put our movement, firmly in the Belly of a beast! This is our organization, it bears our blood, let us re-claim it from the Belly of a Beast! We owe it to our forebears to defend it, those who have infiltrated it, expect us to leave it, so that they can achieve their silly agendas, noshe, asiyindawo, umbutho wethu lo! Let us prevent this disaster which is about to happen.

Cde D.D, with respect, your silence towards the conduct of your backers, proves, in less than three months, that your word is not your honour, that you can not keep an organization of less than 200 000 united. How can we trust you to keep a province of over 3 million people united? Hooligans wreck havoc in the ANC in your name and you say nothing! The ANC is even more divided under your leadership than it ever was.

You say something in public and your backers do the opposite undercover of darkness!

The ANC has been failed and pained enough. This silly list circulating will entrench anarchy, unless we, members of the ANC, rise to the occasion and get the ANC out of this Belly of the Beast, before we see dogs, snakes and donkeys, where none exist! The leadership of the ANC at Luthuli house, must as of yesterday, intervene in this province.

Since the provincial conference, up to now, the general membership does not know of any conference resolutions, the question then is: what informs the activities (if any) of these branches? Never, never, in the history of the ANC, was a regional conference held only to elect people, with no commissions, no discussions at all- it happened at the recent bogus Ehlanzeni regional conference!

Equally ANC members, have a responsibility to rise and get the movement out of the Belly of this Beast! Failure to act now will result in the perpetuation of the divisions within the movement and entrench the hoodlums, who are not ashamed to say the provincial secretary is being undermined! Failure to act, collectively, will ensure that the Lowveld showground’s conference goes down in history as the conference which wrote the political obituary of the ANC in the province, while D.D Mabuza presides over it!

Permit me to strike a personal note! My humble gratitude and thanks to all those cdes who have rallied around me, in my most hour of need. I will not mention your names or what you have done, but believe me; it has been registered in heavenly books! My thanks to those who phone  and send messages, you continue to give me hope, that tomorrow will be better, may almighty Allah, God, Xikwembu, Ramasedi, bless you and your families, in this life and the life here-after! To you also whom I once considered my cde, I have received your sms, wishing me a speedy death! Death my brother is the destiny of all of us. You drive a car, you may be hijacked or have an accident, I am free from any accidents- I do not travel any more! Be careful that you don’t die first, but I will pray for you! Until then, ALUTA CONTINUA!

James Vusumuzi Nkambule

ANC Member and former ANCYL provincial secretary.



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