/ 24 June 2024

Mike Mabuyakhulu warns ANC to adapt to new political era or die

Anc Kzn Holds A Memorial Service In Honour Of Fallen Comrades And Community Leaders In South Africa
Former ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson, Mike Mabuyakhulu. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Former ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu has warned that the ANC risked implosion if it did not adapt to the new political environment.

Addressing ANC Youth League (ANCYL) members in Durban over the weekend, Mabuyakhulu said the ANC cannot continue using the same strategies it used to mobilise support during the liberation struggle.

The ANC — which has been in power since the advent of democracy in 1994 — in last month’s general elections lost its outright majority for the first time.

While Mabuyakhulu maintained that the ANC did well in government during its three decades in power, he said the organisation has since fallen victim to its successes.

“In order to comprehend it fully, we need to contextualise it from a historical perspective. What happens to liberation movements after they have been in power for three decades and more?

“A governing party suffers from the sins of incumbency once it has been in power. To govern is far more complex and difficult than to mobilise society to join a revolution,” he said.

“The first lesson is that the liberation movements become victims of their own successes. This is critical in that the gains of the revolution are taken for granted and its strategic importance becomes a norm, and society always expects more.

“It is very critical that liberation movements must be adaptable and should always lead by example in dictating the agenda for change. Failure to do so would lead to political instability and extermination,” he said.

Mabuyakhulu said that is important for the ANC to understand the various phases of its mission.

“The revolution has an epoch and phases. Each of these is critical and should be properly understood. The current epoch is seminal in its own right. We have gone through some of the phases of the revolution. We transitioned from the apartheid regime and the liberation phase into democracy. We gained political power and removed the apartheid laws from our statutes. We continue to struggle to gain economic equality — we are still occupied by this phase of our struggle,” he said.

In the May general elections, the ANC lost most of its voters, particularly in KZN, to former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party.

Mabuyakhulu, who is also the former MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) said the ANC should accept the position it currently finds itself in.

“We need to humble ourselves before the masses of our people and stand up to be counted. We must outwit, outflank and outsmart the pseudo cult tendencies that are creeping into our body politic. We must all worry about the cult wave that has taken the KZN electorate by storm.

“We should not waste our time fighting internal battles when the enemy is planning its next attack,” he said.

Failure by the ANC to get an outright majority in the general elections compelled it to form a government of national unity (GNU), which includes the DA, IFP, Patriotic Alliance, GOOD, FF+, UDM, Rise Mzansi and Al Jama-ah.

“The GNU gives us a chance to regroup and to sharpen our spears to face our competitors head-on. We should reject with contempt, the notion that the GNU is a sellout approach to the capitalist class,” Mabuyakhulu said.

This article was first published by The Witness.