The time for Jacob Zuma to finally leave the reins of party leader, and as leader of the nation too has ultimately come. There is a fierce battle between Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa over who will take over. What is only certain is that whoever is taking over has a serious task at hand, which is to unite first a seriously divided party.
Over the years, Jacob Zuma has faced a barrage of attacks based on allegations of corruption, state capture, rape, and so forth. Zuma has left a bitter-sweet legacy for South Africans. His staunch supporters will argue that he has maintained the revolutionary spirit of the African National Congress, and his fierce opponents within the party, and across the political divide will have other words, words minced with disdain and contempt of his rule.
In the ANC, factionalism, infighting, gatekeeping, corruption have taken centre stage and have reigned supreme. In his last speech, Zuma pointed out that “corporate greed” was one of the major ills that was tearing apart the party.
“The negative tendencies in the ANC have intensified over the years, and have now come to a head and are threatening the survival of the ANC.
“We are called upon at this conference to solve our problems so that the ANC can focus on leading society.”
Zuma revealed that his party was apparently soft on issues like corruption, crime and unemployment. He alluded to the fact that the party has been reluctant in its approach to tackle such issues. A very poignant issue. The party is not made up of one, but well, the man (Jacob Zuma) was at the helm of the party.
With the ANC in disarray, exuding divisions, it is going to be a tough task for whoever is going to succeed Jacob Zuma. The party is required to be on the track again, and that is not a stroll in the park. It is an onerous task that requires deep commitment since it is the ANC which has the mandate of ruling the country.
“The ANC will build, through our renewal programme, and must project a picture of a country that is cohesive, and of a ruling party that knows where it is going. This means that petty squabbles that take the movement nowhere need to take a back seat,” Zuma remarked.
It is not going to be an easy road.