Greedy ANC leaders who have been corrupted by money are the reason staunch members are leaving because they have led the governing party astray, a former branch chairperson said.
Phaphano Phasha, who resigned as the ANC’s Brian Bunting Branch chairperson in Roodepoort near Johannesburg, said she left the liberation movement because the current leadership turned against the people after accessing billions in taxpayers’ money.
In an interview with African Times, Phasha claimed that the current ANC leaders are greedy and using the party to enrich themselves. Like many former ANC members who have left the party, Phasha believes the ANC has gone astray and forgotten its historical mission.
Those who gave similar reasons for leaving the ANC include former secretary general Ace Magashule, former Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus, EFF leader Julius Malema and former SANDF military intelligence chief Maomela “Mojo” Motau.
“There is nothing wrong with the ANC, but I think there’s everything wrong with the people that are leading the ANC. I still believe there are good people within the ANC. At the heart of my resignation is the fact that our leaders have become so inward that their focus is on what is in government rather than what the state can do for the people.
“It is just unfortunate that the government has become this elusive Lord of the Rings, which has closed people’s hearts and minds to the extent that they have forgotten the historical role of the ANC. The millions and billions that people interact with have really destroyed the hearts and minds of our leaders,” said Phasha.
She said the current ANC leadership are incapable of self-correcting.
“Do I think these leaders can change, or do I think they can hear the many voices of our people who are concerned that the ANC has gone astray? I don’t think so. I think we put more blame on the ANC than the people who are leading the ANC,” she said.
Speculation is rife that Phasha may be joining EFF. This came after she recently wrote in some of the ANC’s WhatsApp groups that “if the ANC does not get its house in order, some of us will join the EFF”.
However, when African Times contacted Phasha, she said she had not yet decided on her political future.
“I have not made any decision on what I’m going to do next because it is so easy to jump and join different political parties. I do know that one party that resonates with me is the EFF, but the question is, which is a question I’ve been asking myself, whether politics is the right yardstick that can change the lives of our people?
“One has to take into consideration the bravery of young leaders like Flyod [Shivambu] and Julius [Malema]. As painful as it is, it has not been easy, and I don’t know how others managed. I mean, the ANC is an organization that I have served since I was a teenager. To say where to go next is not easy because I’m not leaving due to personal interests,” Phasha said.
In her resignation letter to Johannesburg ANC regional secretary Sasabona Manganye, dated October 30, Phasha apologised to party members who elected her as a branch chairperson and zonal secretary.
It’s not the first time Phasha has pointed accusing fingers at the ANC under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In February, the activist accused Ramaphosa of selling out following the ANC’s decision to include a former National Party (NP) member in the party’s highest decision-making body.
At the time, Ramaphosa’s parliamentary advisor, Gerhardus Willem Doornhof, was among four additional members co-opted into the governing party’s national executive committee (NEC) alongside Mapaseka “Steve” Letsike, Fawzia Peer, and Alvin Botes.
Doornhof’s inclusion angered Phasha, who publicly claimed Ramaphosa used apartheid beneficiaries to dismantle the ANC’s liberation project.
“Many people, including the members of the ANC, were not even aware of this. Those who contacted me indicated their shock, while others indicated their dismay.
“It would be quite interesting to know the motive for his inclusion because one would assume that the NEC would have deliberated on why he was specifically among all the people they needed to include,” said Phasha.
Phasha took issue with Koornhof’s past, saying he was not only a former NP member but also the son of late apartheid-era cabinet minister Piet Koornhof, who served under prime ministers John Vorster and Pieter Willem Botha.
“This is the man whose family founded the Broederbond, who advised NP leaders to kill, torture, and maim black people. The father was an advisor and researcher to Hendrik Verwoerd. He was also head of forced removals under Apartheid.
“Years ago, some in the ANC NEC would hide their association with the Broederbond, but now the Broederbond advises the ANC President openly, and the NEC co-opts him, and we think the blood of all children, men, and women who died under apartheid shall not rebel, and there shall be peace,” Phasha said.
African Times has tried without success to obtain comment from the ANC. National communications manager J.P Louw failed to respond to a request for comment, while the party’s Johannesburg secretary, Sasabona Manganye’s phone rang unanswered. He also didn’t respond to a WhatsApp message.