Johannesburg – Julius Malema has become the second politician to warn that South Africa is facing an imminent uprising this as a factionalised ANC headed into the party’s six national policy conference in Nasrec yesterday.
The leader of the EFF echoed the words of former president Thabo Mbeki when he told the BBC’s “Hardtalk” programme there will be an uprising similar to the Arab Spring.
He added that this uprising would first target white people and the black elite.
“The violence that is going to happen in South Africa is because the elite is disappearing and the poor are becoming more poorer,” he told the BBC.
“Therefore there’s going to be something that looks like an Arab Spring. That, we are guaranteed,” he said. Malema also called on Ramaphosa to resign.
The Arab Spring was a series of revolutions that swept across North Africa and the Middle East in 2010 that resulted in governments being toppled and civil war.
Last week Mbeki issued a similar warning of a possible future uprising, when he criticised the ANC for not dealing with poverty, unemployment and inequality.
These warnings come as Ramaphosa admitted yesterday during his opening of the sixth national policy conference that the growing factional battles in his party were not due to ideological differences, but to access to state resources.
Ramaphosa said he agreed with Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma that failures of service delivery were caused by ANC members.
“These divisions manifest themselves in patronage, gatekeeping, vote buying and manipulation of organisational processes. These divisions are driven by corruption and the need by those responsible for corruption to avoid detection and accountability. The weaknesses in our organisation are felt beyond our structures,” he said.
Ramaphosa added that the ANC’s loss of the three metros in Gauteng and in other parts of the country was because comrades had wanted access to the cookie jar.
“Local government is the sphere of government where the state is at its weakest. Five years ago, in June 2017, eight municipalities were under the administration of the national or provincial government,” the president said.
“By June 2021, 23 municipalities were under administration, and by February 2022, this number had further increased to 33 municipalities. As we have recognised before, many of these challenges arise from poor management of the political-administrative interface.”
A shortage of skilled leadership, management, and widespread fraud and corruption were contributing to the decline in voter participation in elections, he told delegates.
He also acknowledged there was an internal revolt within the governing party by those who were allegedly against the party’s plans to fight corruption, saying “we have also seen progress in rooting out corruption and ill-discipline within our ranks, and beginning the process, difficult as it is, in tackling factionalism.
“As we have done this, we have witnessed concerted attempts to sow division and destabilise our organisation by forces intent on pursuing narrow interests.”
Ramaphosa said this took many forms, from distorting organisational processes, to acts of criminality and social instability and sustained propaganda campaigns.
“This is the work of forces, both within our ranks and outside our movement, that are threatened by the process of renewal and rebuilding,” he said.
The president appealed to delegates to renew the image of the ANC by committing themselves to fight corruption.
“History will not forgive us. As we chart the way forward, we must clarify our positions on the declaration of financial interests by ANC leaders, the conduct of lifestyle audits and our policy on ANC leaders and their family members doing business with the state,” Ramaphosa said.