Mail and Guardian
Kgalema Motlanthe has finally shown his hand, questioning the ANC’s so-called second transition and seemingly headed for a showdown with Jacob Zuma.
The ANC policy conference starting on June 26 is a platform to lay out South Africa’s economic future, but it has assumed a more interesting dynamic since Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe started asserting his authority and questioning how the party is projecting itself.
A transcript of Motlanthe’s speech at the Harold Wolpe lecture last week shows that he not only differed with the party’s position on a so-called second transition and the South African Communist Party’s role in the ANC, but also questioned the role of ANC leaders in promoting nonracialism, their inclination to steamroll debates and opposition with the ANC’s sheer weight of numbers, and their refusal to embrace new ideas to stay relevant.
A key document that will be debated at the conference, “The Second Transition: Building a National Democratic Society and the Balance of Forces in 2012”, stems from an analysis that the past two decades of transformation did not translate into economic transformation but mainly political freedom, which necessitates the need to enter a new transition focusing on economic transformation.
In his speech last week, Motlanthe did not mention any leader by name, but his comments that question the notion of a second transition pit him directly against ANC president Jacob Zuma and secretary general Gwede Mantashe. His remarks about the party’s stance on nonracialism stand in contrast to the comments of Mantashe and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, who both accused white South Africans of abusing the reconciliatory stance taken by their black compatriots during The Spear debate recently.
The ANC policy conference is expected to be turned into a mini battlefield for the two main factions vying for top positions during the party’s crucial elective conference in Mangaung in December. Read more…