The participation in the #Zumamustgo marches today looks as disappointing as expected. Civil society organizations just do not have the popular support or organizational skills that one wishes they did.
What is, I think, also a matter of concern is that there is a trick that the media is missing with regards to the discontent within the ANC. One is the idea that the Guateng ANC led by Paul Mashatile are anti-Zuma. I have no doubt that they are. But there are several problems with this.
1) Having investigated the Department of Arts and Culture when Mashatile was minister I know that he is not untainted by corruption. When I discovered faked invoices in an audit the Department point-blank refused to investigate. I also know that he sanctioned the process that resulted in the faked invoices – exactly where that money went I cannot prove. And so a vote for Mashatile is not a vote against corruption.
2) What is more even if the Gauteng ANC is a better bunch than Zuma, a vote for them in the local election this year is still a vote for Zuma.
3) And so when the media reports that there are divisions in the ANC this should not be greeted with a sense of relief. When people say ‘but I am voting for the ANC that disagrees with Zuma and wants to get rid of him’ the simple truth is that you are not. If the ANC wins Gauteng it will only strengthen Zuma it will not strengthen Mashatile – a man who himself is far from clean.
4) I am not sure whether the Gauteng ANC are aware of this and that this is something that Zuma will allow with the knowledge that actually dissent within the ANC may strengthen the vote for the ANC but this will, I think, only work in Zuma’s favour. For those in the ANC who want to see the back of Zuma they will have to do more that just speak out against him because what they are doing is playing into his hands. As I have said before they had a chance to act with the impeachment vote and they blew it. Of course it would have been dangerous for them, it may have ended their political careers but it is only actions of this kind that will rid us of Zuma. If the Gauteng ANC are serious about removing Zuma they should put a call out for people to spoil their votes. This of course they will not do for obvious reasons.