Backing The Wrong Horse

The unprecedented appeal by the owner of Independent Media to his editors to ensure impartial and objective reporting on the upcoming ANC leadership contest is significant for what it leaves unstated (Daily News, September 27).

Whilst it is a given that reporting should attempt to be objective, the unstated reality within Dr Iqbal Surve’s epistle is that he is an ANC supporter and, as such, he is like a punter who covers his bets by ensuring that they are coupled on the tote. And because Dr Surve is who he is, sadly, those who edit his papers, are obliged to follow his lead. It pains me to have to say that as personally I have high regard for the editors of both the Mercury and Daily News.

But beyond Dr Surve’s political moorings, what is saddening is that he actually believes that whoever wins the ANC leadership contest, can take South Africa forward. Such thinking is analogous with betting on an old horse with a poor record to win a punishing sprint race. against the upmarket competition.

As any detached, independent observer of South Africa’s condition after 23 years of ANC rule is aware, more of the same is simply not an investment prospect. Put another way, the ANC, like so many liberation groups elsewhere in Africa, has prioritised self-aggrandisement at the expense of the national interest. Corruption, looting and endemic malfeasance have become synonymous with the ANC. That has to be recognised as reality, regardless of how many acres of print is devoted to nostalgic references to the so-called struggle and its icons.

The ANC is not the answer to South Africa’s future. It is irreparably damaged goods whose sell-by date has expired.

Sent into The Daily News and published, 28 September 2017.

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