LETTER: Mbeki short on facts

by | May 20, 2024 | Chapter 9, General | 0 comments

14 MAY 2024 – 17:35

Former president Thabo Mbeki, recently emerged from his silent retirement to support the ANC’s 2024 election campaign, refers to a “counterrevolution” in SA.

He claims it occurred after his political demise at Polokwane in 2007, when his nemesis, Jacob Zuma, won the leadership of the ANC and the presidency itself from 2009 to 2018.

A victorious revolution should usually precede counterrevolution. However, there has been no revolution in SA. It is true that some communistically inclined theorists in the ANC used the notion of a national democratic revolution during and even after the struggle years.

This notion was overtaken by the negotiation of a national accord more than 30 years ago. The process brought the liberation struggle to an end. Protracted peaceful negotiations led to the replacement of the parliamentary sovereignty of the apartheid era with the acclaimed constitutional democracy of the new dispensation.

There was no revolutionary overthrow, no victory march on the Union Buildings, no vanquished foes; just a peacefully negotiated and binding settlement followed by a joyous “free at last” celebration at Johannesburg’s Carlton Hotel. Mbeki was there.

All politicians in SA affirm or swear fealty to the constitution. A transformed, but not revolutionary, new dispensation for all in SA is what the constitution, our supreme law, requires. It makes no reference to any revolution and eschews the hegemony revolutionaries seek, preferring the rule of law and the doctrine of the separation of powers. Revolutionary conduct is both inconsistent with the constitution and invalid.

State capture in and after the Zuma years is not a counterrevolution, it is a form of the crime called corruption and, like any other crime, should be punished both in the courts and at the polls. The long overdue exacting of legal and political accountability achieves this felicitous outcome.

The late Prof Kader Asmal, a member of Mbeki’s cabinet, on whose kitchen table in Dublin a draft of the Bill of Rights was prepared, called on the ANC to abandon the national democratic revolution after the new constitutional order dawned.

Instead of listening to him, ANC politicians have descended into organised criminal syndicates that alternately pay lip service to the rule of law or contrary lip service to the national democratic revolution, while looting SA’s coffers and assets. Their crimes are slowly undermining and will, left unchecked, eventually destroy all prospects of peace, progress and prosperity for all.

Voters should send them packing.

Paul Hoffman

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