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Thread: Are they just ANC dissidents?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Are they just ANC dissidents?

    The ANC might be branding the Shikota crew as merely ANC dissidents bitter because they're going to be shut out of the ripe pickings that seem to go with being part of the ANC elite. And a party can't be based on what you don't want.

    Well, maybe these aren't just dissidents.
    The Shikota movement on Saturday declared its intention to launch a new political party that will rival the African National Congress at the polls during the 2009 elections.

    The movement decided this at the conclusion of its national convention, which drew to a close on Saturday night in Sandton. The face of Shikota, Mbhazima Shilowa, announced this to the delegates who attended the convention.

    The convention also passed its declaration vowing to lobby for electoral reform that will allow for citizens to choose their own mayors, premiers and national president.

    The declaration focused on four themes: supremacy of the Constitution, building social cohesion, freedom and equality before the law, and participatory democracy.

    "We believe organised citizens should be able to take direct responsibility for some of their concerns and to exercise effective oversight over the leaders they choose at elections," the declaration reads.

    It also asks for the "regular refreshing" of the mandate of political representatives and that all public representatives must be elected directly to improve public accountability.

    It mandates the organisers of the convention "to continue to engage with the people of South Africa" to find ways to defend democracy and to build social cohesion.
    full story from M&G here
    I could support that.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    I could support that.
    And so could I. I'm really going to have to spend some time looking at party policies to decide who to vote for. It's not just the ANC that has to worry about losing voters.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    We still need to factor in the lip-service factor. There's been a fair gap between rhetoric and actual actions in SA politics for a while now.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    There are a couple of things that I've found interesting in this whole process.

    Firstly I think that the ANC has passed its sell-by-date and these guys are calling them on this. When I say that, what I mean is that the ANC was (is) a revolutionary movement, and in many ways they have achieved their main goal. We live in a multicultural society where every person's vote counts. The revolution is over, but the ANC rhetoric still reflects their revolutionary roots.

    Secondly I like what they are saying about a constituency based electoral system. Our current party based system lacks accountability, or rather, the politicians are accountable to their parties, not to their voters. I am not sure which other parties support this system (and need to find out).

    It is pretty hard to say right now, but something that bothers me is the root of the new party. Are they just people unhappy about losing power? Time will tell. Importantly, who they raise up as leaders will also say a lot.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncan drennan View Post
    Are they just people unhappy about losing power?
    Well, that is what JZ would have us believe. He's even called them bigamists, too. Strange though, he doesn't seemed to have a problem with the ANC members that also hold posts in the SACP. Maybe some types of bigamy are OK in politics.

    I think the ANC's efforts to discredit the breakaway's leaders says something of the significance.
    When the idea of this party -- now dubbed the South African Democratic Congress (SADC) -- first surfaced weeks ago, Zuma said he would not talk about them, lest they should feel important. But the ruling party leader has spent the past week doing little else. He is now doing his best to discredit the leaders of the breakaway party.
    from a report on M&G here
    One thought that has occured to me. We now have a group of people who have an intimate knowledge of what has been going on within the ANC, are no longer bound by the inner circle's equivalent of omerta, and could be a source of some embarrasment.

    Watch the reports quite carefully and you can see signs of dirt starting to peek through. For example, this call for donations to political parties above a certain amount (actual amount not specified as yet) to be publicly disclosed indicates there is poo in the kitty litter there somewhere.

    I wonder what other seeming little disclosure requests are going to emerge?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I got this email - a report from someone who went to the convention.
    Subject: THE DAY WE TOOK OUR HARD WON DEMOCRACY BACK

    Hello there,

    I was privileged to attend the SA National Convention this weekend, and thought you may appreciate a first hand report back, so I will share my thoughts you, on what I believe was a watershed event in the SA political landscape.

    As we arrived at the Sandton Convention centre, a huge throng of people were toyi-toying down the road, and a fellow delegate remarked, “That’s what happens when you abuse your people”. It reminded of the old saying, when the people are scared of the government that’s anarchy, when the government is scared of the people that’s democracy.

    And that’s why we were all there, we were not anti anyone, we were pro-democracy and the constitution.

    The serene and regal chairperson for the morning, Lyndall Shope-Mafole, echoed this saying that all the songs that we sang, should not demean or threaten others. I must say she is an imposing and powerful person, and our country can certainly use women like her whose wisdom and sternness, are combined with a motherly kindness. This feminine approach is especially needed at present to counter the “Malema Machine-Gun Madness Mentality.”

    Terror Lekota discussed how at CODESA, he never imagined that he would one day have to stand up again to fight for the principles enshrined in the Constitution. He said many South Africans were not prepared to stand helplessly as we returned once-again to an apartheid like era, where the state abused it’s power and resources to enrich a few.

    We all had the feeling that this was a special time and we were experiencing history in the making.

    Barney Pityana, the Unisa vice chancellor told the convention the country was in desperate need of leadership "that has a moral consciousness embedded in it”. He told us that “a leader, must engender trust, and not fear.” He also spoke of the need to overhaul the current proportional representation system, and get a constituent based model, which has more accountability.

    Every single opposition party member was then given the stage. They were all treated with dignity and respect; there was no Polokwane type heckling.

    Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP said he felt "at home" not hearing the Mshini wami (machine gun) song.

    Helen Zille was given a huge ovation and the delegates chanted “Zille, Zille, Zille" as she made any point. She said the convention had the potential to be a “turning point in history,” a spirit that we all felt. Her comment on “Tot so ver and nie verder nie” captured just how gatvol many of us feel about the ANC’s posturing, and that to speak out against them is somehow construed as being “unpatriotic”. The most powerful message of the day came from her example of the 6 parties which have formed a coalition to govern the Western Cape, and how well it is working.

    Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille, also warmly received said” it is a great honour for me to be here to witness the breaking down of the ANC”. Her feisty ways and no nonsense approach to corruption would be an asset to any alliance.

    The great mood of tolerance and caring for all was captured for me, when Lionel Mtshali of the IFP said that he was delivering Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s message, because Buthelezi was not able to attend as he was celebrating his 80th birthday. The crowd spontaneously broke out singing a rousing “Happy Birthday to you”.

    I have not shouted AMANDLA NGAWETHU so much in any one day since the dark days, but it is still true - Power to the People. As we have all been saying for many years, The People, (not the Party), shall Govern.

    I saw no “poisonous snakes and bigamists” as Zuma called the Conference leaders, I only saw concerned South Africans. Concerned that the constitution and its values remain the rock on which we build our society.

    In fact Zuma brings “terror” to my heart and “terror” brings humour, a wry smile to my face that in May, all these now small tributaries, could combine to form a mighty river that can change the course of history and alter the landscape.

    I know many people feel helpless, that with 2/3 majority the ANC are omnipotent and un-touchable. But a cursory look at the numbers, shows one that change is definitely possible.

    1 in 3 South Africans currently vote for a party that shared the stage on Saturday. If Shikota’s South African Democratic Congress can entice just 1 in 4 of the current ANC supporters, a coalition of 6 or so parties would gain 51% of the electorate. The beauty of a coalition is that you can vote for any party that “does it for you”, if corruption or the arms deal gets your goat, vote for Patricia, If Christian values form a core of your life, Kenneth’s ’your man, etc, etc.

    The SADC support will come from the older, more traditional, conservative members of society. From those of us who don’t believe in killing political opponents or threatening judges, from those of us who want our children to carry books and pens, not machine guns.

    If Madiba had had a choice of which song to sing with his grandchildren this past Saturday afternoon, I wonder if he’d have sung Happy Birthday to you or Mshini Wami?


    Peter Langschmidt
    Does not aspire to any political position,
    captaining the under 11c soccer team
    was enough of a highlight in his life.
    You know, all that feel-good sentiment is great, but there's still a little concern about all this that is sitting at the back of my brain.

    Standards in government didn't slip overnight. And these folk were part of the leadership of the day as the corruption grew. Just one of those nagging doubts
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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