Power, power, and more power for the wicked: our state of politics!

Will Ramaphosa’s camp allow Zuma to repeat what happened to Kgalema Motlanthe, or will they mount a serious challenge for power? ask our columnist Maruping Phepheng, in this weeks’ hard-hitting column.

Some might say it must be discouraged, some not.

But to dismiss this call without closer scrutiny will be a bit naïve, especially since the ANC SG is now saying structures of the ANC are already discussing it.

Firstly, one could look at this call as a remarkably bold step by the outfit that used to be called the roaring “Young Lions”. Freedom occurred and, well, the league is now populated by some rotund, greasy, and flashy Zuma partisans.

Anyway, this step is bold in a sense that it is not all too common-place these days that anyone can say anything worthy of the ear of the mighty top six of the ANC NEC – with the exception of the top six itself, of course.

It can also be considered bold if one accepts that the ANC leagues have become somewhat low-key, if existent at all.

To look at the matter differently, at least for me – and here I should pause to remind everyone that we are just a little over a year away from the scheduled elective conference – is to ask if anyone would in fact be ready should it be held sooner.

Will, say, Cyril Ramaphosa be ready to raise his hand and start a successful campaign for the top position?

It is worth remembering that there has been talk of the ‘Premier League’ within the ANC, a pro-Zuma faction said to be made up of three premiers – MP’s David Mabuza, FS’s Ace Magashule, and NW’s Supra Mahumapelo.

This faction is strongly believed to have put both Maine and Dlamini in their respective positions. It is also believed to be supported by Sihle Zikalala, chairman of the powerful KZN province.

This group wants a Zuma successor, one who will not disrupt the existing condition … that of the seamless flow of jobs and tenders and such likes benefits on a political basis. The tap from which the rampant patronage flows must simply continue coughing.

But blood is on the floor already since key municipalities with massive budgets like Johannesburg Metro are now gone. So what remains? The State Owned Enterprises.

Hundreds of comrades, I am talking desperate ex-councillors and senior municipal officials who are now or will soon be without high paying jobs, will as the cake dwindles show great interest in entities like Eskom and SAA, and for the SOEs to work for them, a nuisance like Pravin Gordhan should quickly vacate treasury so that their own man can come in to make things happen.

So while they are focusing on succession, they strategically neglect to do work that will drive up the economy, ultimately inviting a downgrade by the international rating agencies while at the same time unleashing The Hawks to threaten the responsible minister with arrest.

Once the downgrade is achieved, or once the minister faces charges, or both, the president will have all the reasons to reshuffle Gordhan to retirement.

In that case the biggest loser would be us, ordinary tax payers.

But another significant loser, if the conference were to be moved forward, would be anyone with the intention to contest the Zuma camp in the next elective conference.

As mentioned elsewhere here, Marikana’s ‘concomitant action’ man’s position is rendered precarious.

Will Ramaphosa’s camp allow Zuma to repeat what happened to Kgalema Motlanthe, or will they mount a serious challenge for power?

As they say, only time will tell.

Ed. Maruping is an independent commentator. Visit social media for his work.


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