Rush to remove premiers motivated by factional self-interest statement by the UDM President (15 July 2008)

Now that the Tripartite Alliance has finished feeding on the carcass of the National Party they are turning inwards to ferret out the so-called 'undesirables', such as Premiers, and no doubt followed later on by MECs and then the bureaucrats. All of this will further undermine service delivery.

We should expect that the Zuma faction will move at maximum speed to remove those people that they perceive as stumbling blocks in their way. Their most immediate motivation is to have access to state resources in preparation for the elections. The ANC has for years now used the state's resources in terms of military helicopters to fly to multiple rallies on a single day, "government" functions that are actually ANC campaign masquerades, and numerous other ways of exploiting their control of Government to promote the ANC. Now they know that in order to campaign for Zuma they will need to remove the people appointed by Mbeki to key positions in Government who know that they are on their way out and won't be keen to assist their successors.

These state powers and resources they so desperately strive for, has got nothing to do with a desire to improve service delivery but is a continuation of the promotion of the interests of a small elite. Nor have they have any credentials to lecture us on corruption and crime, since their track records speak for themselves.

The question is for how long is South Africa going to tolerate this faulty system, where the whole nation is held captive by the politics of factionalism? This is not the ANC that the people used to know, and which many of us supported to topple the Apartheid regime. The last remnants of the ANC of Luthuli, Tambo and Mandela were left in Polokwane. The current situation looks like the ANC is a big rudderless ship that is being led around by the nose by a small tugboat in the form of the SACP.

As the UDM has said before, the time has arrived where the President and Premiers are separately elected by the people; it will give the voters a direct say in who leads them. Such an approach would even allow strong leaders within the ANC who are threatened with labels such as 'counter-revolutionary' - whenever they dare raise their voices - to stand as candidates and be accountable to the voters, not just a small faction in the ruling party.