The Sunday News
THE victory by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the country’s recent national elections is testimony of the trust enjoyed by liberation movements in the region despite the emergence of many political movements.
This year’s poll saw 48 parties taking part in the polls, the highest number of participants since South Africa attained independence in 1994.
However, at the end of the poll, the ANC led by President Ramaphosa was a distant first followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic freedom Fighters (EFF).
The ANC victory retained the party that brought South Africa’s liberation and first black President the late Nelson Mandela 1994, in power as they have emerged victorious in successive elections.
Liberation movements have, especially since the turn of the millennium, faced challenges from largely puppet movements sponsored by Western countries in pursuit of their neo-colonial agenda.
However, in successive elections, the liberation movements have shrugged off the challenge and retained the people’s trust largely because their challengers are grounded on inherited ideologies and superficial values that are not enduring.
Just like ANC’s sister liberation movement, Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF has defeated opposition in successive elections because of people centred ideology and the belief and faith by Zimbabweans that it is the only party that can take the country out of the challenges it is facing.
Zimbabwe held elections last year where the people reaffirmed Zanu-PF as the party of choice to lead them to economic prosperity.
It is the people’s belief in the institutions that ushered independence that should drive liberation movements to deliver on the promises made to the people towards the transformation of the lives of the majority.
Besides the external threats, the liberation movements have had to deal with internal strife with some of its members veering off from the revolutionary lane to engage in destructive politics, threatening the collapse of the organisations.
The liberation movements have had to grapple with corruption by some of its members, a practice that has alienated some supporters driving them into enemy terrain.
In the context of South Africa, the country went for the elections under President Ramaphosa following the resignation of former leader Mr Jacob Zuma in the 9th year of his reign.
Mr Zuma’s reign had been tainted by allegations of corruption, factionalism and endless scandals most prominent being the State capture involving the Gupta family.
However, after his assumption of office, President Ramaphosa has made a number of efforts to restore sanity within both the government and his ANC party, a move that analyst attribute to the performance of the party in the elections.
The challenge for liberation movements is delivering the promises made to the masses during the spirited fight to dismantle the colonial regimes.
Chief among the challenges is equality which remains elusive and to the frustration of the majority, who find themselves in Frantz Omar Fanon’s “zone of non-being” characterised by poverty and suffering.
The inequalities were best illustrated by an aerial view picture published by Time Magazine as its cover on May 13 displaying Primrose, a poshy suburb in Ekurhuleni on one side of the road and Makause informal settlement on the other pointing out the glaring inequalities in the country.
A similar picture taken of the neighbouring Sandton and Alexandra suburbs also divided by a road will bring out similar effect.
On its Twitter page, Time Magazine captioned the cover, “As the 1994 elections approached, the ruling ANC expanded on that pledge by promising subsidised houses for the poor. The goal was to counter the apartheid-era dispossessions with the benefits of home ownership.”
Addressing inequalities becomes the uppermost task the South African government so that the black majority get to enjoy the fruits of their independence.
It is the frustration around inequality that has given for example the EFF a launch pad with their radical approach to addressing the issue.
It is refreshing that one of the major moves after occupying office was the constitution of a Commission of Inquiry into the allegations of State Capture involving the Gupta family.
President Ramaphosa, in constituting the Commission, promised that all those involved in the scandal would be brought to book.
The hearings that started in August last year, have claimed the scalps of a number of high profile people including government officials who have since resigned from their positions, a development which served to show President Ramaphosa’s commitment to fight corruption.
In a country for so many years plagued by corruption, the South African government as should all liberation movements, should make serious strides in fighting graft so that they win back the confidence of those supporters frustrated by years on non action.
As the ANC government embarks on another five-year term one is reminded of the song Now That We Found Love written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and originally recorded by The O’Jays for their 1973 album titled Ship Ahoy.
The song that was to be recorded by various other musicians like Martha Reeves in 1976 and Third World in 1978 goes like, “Now that we found love what are we gonna do with it?” in the song, the artistes speak of the ardent pursuit of love for a woman and ask the question what should be done with the love now that they have found common ground in the relationship.
Similarly, the ANC and all other liberation movements that have been given another mandate by the people should ask themselves, “Now that we’ve got another mandate, what are we going to do with it.”