After Mangaung

The leadership questions the ANC must deal with

The Aftermath of Polokwane, The Dawn or Rebirth of Democracy, The Resurrection of the Power of the branches (Peoples Power), The Fall of the Dictatorship, The Rise of the Dictatorship and so on….
These were the yelling that criss-crossed the national democratic struggle terrain post-Polokwane, pre and post-Mangaung and is how the period after Polokwane to date has been characterised depending on where you stood then and where you stand now.
At the centre of these characterisations and yelling, were the obvious figures whose names had established the syndrome of essentialism within the new cadre of our ANC and its alliances.
Without going back to the debates that succeeds Polokwane on the leadership question of the ANC, a question has been deposited in the discourse, both within the ANC and its alliances and also in the country generally (I am not going to deal with the bona fides or mala fides of this question);
“Will the current and newly elected Deputy President of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa bring what is touted to be a much needed Sanity, Unity, Credibility and Capacity for and in the ANC in order for it to take up the huge responsibility that comes with the complexities of the National Democratic Revolution?”
This question reminds me of one of the greatest essayists, poets and writers on the Sciences of Uncertainty, Prof Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
I recall particularly one of his published books titled, “The Black Swan – The Impact of the Highly Improbable”.
In respect to all these much needed qualities of leadership in the organisational and political life of the ANC, is Comrade Ramaphosa really the “Black Swan”, could it be that he will make the much highly improbable impact in the politics of the ANC and those of the country to the dismay of the doomsayers, to the vindication of his supporters and may be lastly to the shock of the genuine critics and the ignorant.
The answer off course to this question does not lie in the wisdom of analysts, public writers, and so on.
It lies, in my view, on the tactical approach of the National Executive Committee of the ANC to the whole question of the leadership succession and complimentarily to the tactical approach of the ANC Deputy President on managing the dynamics that come primarily with two issues;
The alleged and punted (moral as opposed to political) credibility deficit on our President of the ANC.
The essentialism and messiah syndrome that's being attributed to our Deputy President of the ANC or his ascendancy to this position.
But what do we need currently?
It is my considered view that, first and foremost, the ANC leadership should build on the platform of the Mangaung outcomes and quickly find a consensus on the leadership succession in the ANC, after all everything has been said and done, any way the obvious senior positions and their incumbents in the top six of the ANC cannot be faltered on the requisite qualities and capacity for a leader of the ANC and the state.
Once the leadership had agreed upfront on this structure of deliberately building a capable and targeted second layer of leadership, then they can deploy this structure and adopt it as a model of delivery of its programmes and thereby creating also, an environment that would expose either ill-disciplined or sheer opportunism around this matter of leadership (This off course needs a much sober leadership with due legitimacy).
Under the current circumstances, the structure of this tactical approach appears to me as following:
Consolidate and project Cde Kgalema Motlanthe's grip on the management of state affairs as the current Deputy President of the country (This would indeed depend on whether he can still be trusted by the dominant forces of this current leadership).
Consolidate, project and task Cde Cyril Ramaphosa on issues of ANC work (these may relate to, the image of the ANC, the relationship of the ANC with progressive forces, targeting and identification of potential and new tactical alliances and constituencies).
Lock Cde Gwede Mantashe (Secretary-General) to build the organisational machinery and capacity needed to engage on the two areas mentioned above but also produce cadres that have technical and political capacity to develop sound and responsive policies and programmes that are implementable in order to resolve the challenge of unemployment, inequality, poverty and underdevelopment in our country.
Produce cadres that have capacity to hold their own government to account on the basis of comprehension and grasp of what is to be done, furthermore, cadres that have enough skill and capacity to be deployed in government and other developmental sectors.
Once our leadership creates this environment, I submit that the current term of the ANC leadership will be characterised by less attack on the leadership of the ANC and government and indeed minimise the distractions created by the mischiefs and create space for the leadership of the ANC to lead the programme of better life for all.
This will further create a visible and requisite impression of an equitable distribution of responsibilities to the capable leadership collective and take away the concentration of power from the individual (real or imagined) and the resultant mischievous scrutiny on one leader, who happens to be the President in this case.
This approach would certainly allow the old man a proper space to prepare his retirement with peace and sanity.
 It will also allow him, I suggest, to concentrate on building the unity in the ANC and may be in the Alliance with a clear view of close engagement and time.
A dream? May be…May be not!! Well… eehm…a dream needed!
Just a not so honest view. – Politics Web
• Stera Senti is a member of the ANC and SACP, He writes in his personal capacity

February 2013
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