This week Douglas Gibson shared his opinion in The Star as carried on the Politics web platform, on the potential outcomes of the ANC’s 2017 Elective Conference presidential contest.
Gibson anchors his argument on the premise of the words of Pravin Gordhan whom he cites as having said “Ramaphosa is the only leader who can save the ANC.” This according to Gibson translates to Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma not being the correct person to save the ANC. We not sure why Gibson choose to give Gordhan’s words the final authority in deity status on what the claim of “only leader who can save the ANC”, we cannot assume we know why he draws comfort from the one cites as his departure point. Then, again Gordhan overnight became an economic ‘messiah’ in his second stint when he according to Gibson’s party, the DA, was not doing well at all in his first term. Gibson uncritically adopts Gordhan’s frame of mind as supreme.
Gibson’s second error is that the ANC 2017 presidential contest is only about a woman candidate and therefore not the qualities of a leader. It appears Gibson considers the quality of leadership as mutually exclusive to gender. This wilful and conscious intent to want to force a narrow gender issue as that which is paramount is necessarily a misreading of the fact that the ANC is about to elect as always a quality of leadership. To therefore play quality of leadership of against the gender is perhaps dishonest. Gibson must tell us did the ANC in all its previous elections chose a male in gender definition instead of a leader?
Gibson in the third instance critiques if not rubbishes NDZ’s stance on land, ownership of the reserve bank and breaking the monopoly of the banks. He claims “these are puerile and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator”. What Gibson simply doesn’t know is that NDZ was one of those who raised the issue of land in the ANC policy Conference. It is her conviction that the 1913 cut off period is not sustainable since the ANC was formed in 1912 with land as the central issue. Her conviction on land as needing a much earlier date is borne out by many who make the claim that a 1913 cut off period excludes many such as the Khoisan. Some like Jeremy Cronin argued against the proposed shift to an earlier date, since it would open a can of worms.
It therefore cannot be attributed to sheer populism for her to raise the subject of land when she was instrumental in raising it in the relevant constituencies. Clearly Gibson is uncomfortable as to be expected with a possible president consciously opting to make land redress one of her fundamental campaign anchors. Any conversation on land for those who own it as attained in our chequered history is always discomforting.
Gibson’s fourth and perhaps biggest error is his glaring cheap patronizing of NDZ, he argues “what a tragedy it is that a woman of her intelligence, innate ability and accomplishment, with a good deal of charm and delightful sense of humour, has allowed herself to become Zumaed and Gupterised. There are three issues with this claim on the part of Gibson.
- He arrogates a right in typical colonial and apartheid mind to be the adjudicator of NDZ as intelligent, when they really want to expose and say something else about how unintelligent she is.
- He categorically defines her as Zumaed and Gupterised. This view on the part of Gibson smacks of utter chauvinism because he assumes the very woman whom he calls intelligent and sophisticated incapable of being her own person in her choices. He repeats what some conveniently have peddled that behind NDZ sits a male dominant Jacob Zuma hence she is Zumaed. She is merely a puppet and he the string-master. This he does when he concedes she in the up-run to Polokwane was not Zuma’s side.
- Gibson conclusively calls NDZ Gupterised, meaning in his mind corrupt, captured, and the evidence of the opposite of what SA stands for. This is a direct insult he feels he is entitled to exact against NDZ even without corroborating evidence. He will forgive us to read the white and maleness of the author as he advances views on a strong female black candidacy.
Gibson’s conclusion is NDZ will win the contest because the Zuma rural constituency in the ANC will carry her.
Again this conclusion is patronising, sexist and elitist since it concludes NDZ can only win because of Jacob Zuma’s rural support. Gibson shares his DA ideology and rhetoric that the ANC is kept in power by the masses of uneducated and backward non-thinking what he blankets in rural definition. This idea unequivocally suggests that the political choices of the poor and rural are unconscious and uninformed, for their disposition renders them incapable of making good political leadership choices when it comes to the ANC.
Perhaps Gibson forgets his star Cyril Ramaphosa in 2012 made it to ANC deputy presidency position by that same constituency he reduces to rural, that same constituency he considers as the stamp of approval for corruption, state capture etc. Therefore if Ramaphosa is the only leader to save the ANC he owes his political presence in contestation for high office in 2017 to that same rural constituency.
Gibson says of Ramaphosa he is: ‘urbane charming, intelligent and well educated who knows how to behave and would not disagree with the party’. That colonial and apartheid mind on a black identity always will find space to unveil itself. One never hear whites telling you they vote for a white candidate because he/she is urbane, intelligent, well-educated who knows how to behave. It is naturally assumed that all whites are all the aforementioned, thanks to their superior created state.
He then goes further to make this cul-de-sac argument because Ramaphosa is wealthy he will be immune to steal from the people. Clearly Gibson, has not understood greed yet, he assumes greed is a poor man’s entrapment, the poor will be greedy not the super-wealthy, the world and history is replete with examples of the rich overtaken by greed continuing to rape the poor.
In his praise for Ramaphosa he stoops as low as telling us Ramaphosa and his equally wealthy wife only have four children and not twenty as the current president. What this has to do with the price of eggs only Gibson in his white racist mind knows. For if we hear him correctly he draws a line through the culture of the president that affords him more than one wife and as many children, why does Gibson find the culture and traditions of Africans understood in Zulu so deplorable and what does this have to do with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who had one husband and four children? Again that colonial supremacy notion simply cannot hide itself.
He advances if Ramaphosa succeeds he will be indebted to large numbers of looters, crooks, and the morally compromised that have switched to his side. This analysis of the ANC as endemically corrupt and all its leaders crooks up for looting is typical opposition politics. Buried deep in this thinking is the fundamental believe that a black led government can only be corrupt.
Gibson anticipates a significant split once Ramaphosa looses, I almost want to say, we said this as far back as March 2016 that the CR campaign as led by the likes of SAVE-SA Pityana has political ambitions. We will have to wait and see how significant this anticipated split is because judging by the three respective break-aways in democracy led by Holomisa, Lekota and Malema, it never translated to more than a paltry seven percent.
Yes, Douglas NDZ will become president not because she is just a woman, shares a double-barrelled Zuma last name, but because she is a well respected, dignified, selfless and disciplined ANC leader who has proven herself.
She will lead the ANC because despite afforded opportunity like all ANC leaders never gravitated to money as the centre of her being. She will lead the ANC because she is not captured neither masters of capture Rupert or the pretender of capture Gupta. NDZ owes no loyalty to white monopoly capital, she showed it when she took the tobacco industry on and publicly rebuked Rupert on his dismissive ANC RET policy description. Juxtaposed this with a Ramaphosa, who remained until now silent on Rupert’s utterances, maybe this is the fundamental reason why Gibson believes Ramaphosa the saviour of the ANC.
She will lead because she engages ANC policy with land redress and radical economic transformation as central themes. You have told us how little you think of these policies you have shared what you think of the rural people as really uninformed in their choices, we say to you when will you learn the poor, the uneducated, the rural are not stupid they make conscious choices for the ANC and its leadership.
Clyde N.S. Ramalaine