Recent developments in KwaZulu-Natal serve as further evidence that the African National Congress (ANC) in that province is probably beyond saving.
The mantra of the ANC has always been that the interests of the organization are far greater than those of the individual. However, the public is consistently reminded that this is simply not the case in the troubled coastal province.
Just last weekend, a memorial service was held for the former Speaker of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality (now called Ray Nkonyeni Municipality) Ian Mavundla.
Reports coming from that branch reveal that Regional Secretary Mzwandile Mkhwanazi was heckled, by what are believed to be supporters of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, when he took to the stage at that funeral.
Mkhwanazi has become somewhat of an outcast in the province, because he is actively defying the KZN PEC position on ANC succession. He and his supporters do not want Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to replace her ex-Husband as President of the ANC.
In an organization as large as the ANC there will always be contestation on issues and ideas. That is to be expected. Sometimes these internal issues do spill over into the public domain. That is to be expected, and to a large degree it is even acceptable.
However, when the divisions in an organization are so deeply entrenched that the internal battles play out at the memorial service of a senior and highly respected member of the ANC, one can’t help but feel that the foundations, on which the ANC is built, have already crumbled.
There are also reports from the same sources that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was prevented from speaking at an event on the Lower South Coast just last month. Another sign, if ever one was needed, that the two main groupings in the ANC are not prepared to engage with each other.
Internal party relations have broken down completely and under those circumstances it becomes increasingly unlikely that either grouping will accept the outcomes at the 54th National Conference of the ANC- that is if the conference actually happens this December. That all depends how the challenge of the current KZN PEC’s legitimacy plays out.