“The delusion is now so well set, even at the apex of a crisis, it seems to believe the very idea of opposition is insane, literally. In May, Zuma would tell an ANC election meeting: “Other political parties besides the ANC, what have they done for us? They don’t stop asking for votes from people but for what reason should I vote for this party that haven’t done anything for us? It’s as if other parties are mentally disturbed or something.”
Yes, it is the world that is mad. Not the ANC. That another political party would even contemplate asking people to vote for them is crazy. Who would dream up such nonsense? I mean, what is this, an election or something? It must be some kind of paranoid nightmare inside the ANC collective hive mind. Regardless, you can be sure the opposition has their plans. And that’s the great irony, the world carries on regardless of the ANC. It thinks it is history, what it cannot see is that it is busy writing it, and the current chapter is a nasty piece of work”.
The ANC’s arrogance is matched only by its delusion: Gareth van Onselen’s column in BDlive on 8/6/2016 published by Business Day.
. . . . .
It is typified by the arrogant way the party, led by its president, Jacob Zuma, routinely suggests “only” the ANC is capable of governing SA. That word “only”, it has become a ubiquitous part of ANC rhetoric. Consider the following:
“Only the ANC is better placed, experienced and determined to bring about more meaningful change to the lives of our people,” Zuma said April 17. “The ANC is the only party that can create policies that address the plight of the poor,” he suggested on May 1. “Only the ANC has a proper vision for this country with realistic and achievable goals,” he reiterated on June 4.
. . . . .
There is only the ANC — the one and only. It is as if the party exists in a vacuum, not a democracy. It’s like this not just during elections but also with almost any senior ANC leader. At its worst, it is laughable as it is delusional.
. . . . .
There are other absolutist phrases and words the ANC relies on to create the impression it alone is capable of delivering anything. “Most” is another favourite:
. . . . .
Very few of these claims, if any, hold up to critical interrogation. In fact, even the most superficial comparison with reality renders the majority null and void just at face value. The ANC’s attitude to corruption is as dangerous as it is destructive; its policies as internally contradictory as they are fraught by the consequences of division; it cannot unite its own leadership, let alone SA and, so far as “espousing the values embellished in the national Constitution” goes, no less than the Constitutional Court itself has had several serious and disparaging things to say about its conduct and that of its president.
But it matters not to the ANC. Its purpose, in presenting its credentials to the South African public, is not to engage in a battle of ideas — the cornerstone of any healthy democracy — but to deny any such battle in the first place.
Instead, to maintain the pretence through sheer force of will, that it alone exists on the South African electoral landscape and always it will be that way; the Alpha and the Omega, extolling its inherent virtue.
That is not a free-floating metaphor. The ANC has said much about its own divinity. “The ANC is the only organisation that can claim it was baptised when it was born,” Zuma once said. Just as he has said, on numerous occasions, the party will govern until Jesus returns. The ANC is, in its own mind’s eye, the be-all and end-all.
The consequences of this kind of attitude are profound. Above all, the belief that you are intrinsically virtuous negates introspection. Without the ability to introspect you cannot properly gauge your condition. So the ANC is a party in deep and fundamental denial. Akin to a drug addict who, gaunt, malnourished and bleeding vociferously from the nose, thinks they have never been healthier. But it’s an artificial high, and the amount of stimulant you have to consume just to achieve it, is steadily becoming monumental.
. . . . ..
There is one such ”only” quote, however, that perhaps the contemporary ANC would do well to consider a little more carefully. One has to go all the way back to 1996 to find it. At the time, Jacob Zuma would say, “No political force can destroy the ANC — it is only the ANC that can destroy itself.” Perhaps there is some truth to that. The party certainly seems to be doing its damnedest to test the limits of that particular sentiment.