Buthelezi: ANC 'fast becoming unstuck'
The glue that has kept South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) together "is fast becoming unstuck", says Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi in his online letter on Monday.
"This may not be a bad thing for democracy -- or for the ruling-party," said Buthelezi, whose party is the third largest in South Africa after the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Referring to the leadership struggles which will take place in both the large parties -- with the DA's Tony Leon retiring in May as leader and a leadership election for ANC leader next December -- he said that "the fissures we are seeing in the ANC run deeper than personalities or even ideological differences: their origins lie in the struggle".
"Unity for the ANC in the struggle was synonymous not only with its internal unity, but with the unity of all the liberation movements. The ANC conceived the armed struggle as the lightening rod for establishing its political hegemony after liberation. The IFP, on the other hand, foresaw a diversity of roles within the liberation movement as the basis for political choice after liberation."
Buthelezi, who was until 2004 the national home affairs minister, said the succession races in both the ANC and DA leadership "will rightly be highly contested. Both will have a decisive impact upon the future of the government and opposition in South Africa -- and how the two interact with each other. There are hazards ahead, to be sure, but opportunities too".
Since 1994, South Africans had been witnessing "the inexorable centralisation" of power. Power had gravitated from society to state, from local and provincial spheres to national, and from judiciary and legislature to executive.
"This top heavy concentration of power at the centre, paradoxically, sits astride a weak delivery state. The numbers of people in deep, entrenched poverty -- those at the bottom of the pile -- has grown since 1994".
Buthelezi said: "The central challenge for opposition in a democracy dominated by one party, like ours, is to influence policy whilst remaining a counterbalance to the dangers of corruption inherent in such a system."
full story from M&G here