Winter is coming in House ANC

Does anyone else feel like the latest “fight backs” in the ANC are a bit like the last season of Game of Thrones? Poorly written, lots of hasty attempts at resolution, and everyone has stopped caring? (No dragons, pity.) The problem is, of course, that all the factionalism seems to distract the governing party from, er, governing. 

But we’re duty bound to fill you in on the latest politicking in Westeros … um, we mean, Luthuli House – and truth be told, we find it just as interesting as you. So here goes. 

The background: the ANC reformist faction under Ramaphosa is fighting the “Radical Economic Transformation” group that’s loosely aligned to former president Jacob Zuma and beleaguered ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. While the first lot aren’t perfect, they’re definitely preferable. As Business Day put it this week, in the choice between half good and almost evil, we’re going with the former. 

In this week’s episode, Zuma’s speaking notes from his engagement with the ANC top six last week were leaked and boy, was it entertaining: 23 pages of the most self-pitying, delusional ramblings from the man who, unbelievably, ran our country for nearly a decade. 

These are the cries of a man (and his faction) decidedly on the backfoot. Now we’re just waiting for the Constitutional Court to decide whether he goes to prison for contempt, after refusing to appear before the Zondo Commission. And that’s not his only legal woe: on 17 May his long-awaited trial related to arms deal corruption is set to begin. That should keep us going for another season at least. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 8 April 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.