When a ruling party rushes to pin the blame for the funding crisis at universities, first on the universities themselves and then a little later on foreign forces with chequebooks at the ready, two things become clear: (a) it is terribly confused and (b) it is looking for a convenient scapegoat.
On October 23, Gwede Mantashe urged students to blame the universities, not the ANC for the fee increases. Now he is asserting that foreign forces were channelling funds to students’ accounts and using the student protests as part of a programme to destabilise the state.
The ANC, Mantashe publicly declared, had detected “early signs of counter-revolution” in the storming of Parliament as well as of the Union Buildings. Protesters, moreover, were chanting slogans of regime change.
Mantashe must know that the ANC and its alliance partners in government are the arch counter revolutionaries in South Africa. It is they who are lavishing taxpayers’ money on themselves. Their devotion to bling is creating an untenable situation in the country.
The Auditor General pleads for government to act against the Departments of Education, Health and Public Works for irregular expenditure of R25 billion in the past year. Mantashe and the ruling party national executive remain mum on the matter. No real consequences attach to anyone for that mountainous irregular expenditure. So, even now, irregular expenditure is occurring.
Students and society in general will have noted how the government borrows massively, spends heavily on itself and then borrows even more to promulgate salary increases for public representatives instead of turning down the recommendation for increases. Students and society in general will have also seen how readily government hands out mighty big golden handshakes every so often. Everyone will also have noted that government is ready to spend R4bn to R5bn on an executive jet for the president. All the while the ruling party has been reluctant to release the Presidential Handbook or the Ministerial Handbook into the public domain.
Under immense pressure, it caved in on the Presidential Handbook. Under pressure it caved in on the 0% fee increase. The ruling party is manifestly not working in the interest of South African citizens.
The ruling party is very counter revolutionary. In 2009, it promised an expeditious return to the ideals of the Freedom Charter but over seven years since then it has veered even further away from them. The ruling party is also extremely active in causing government to implode from within by the sheer size and weight of its structure. There is also no denying that the ruling party is pushing South Africa ever closer to the fiscal cliff.
There is no greater danger to South Africa than the ruling party. Anyone who listened to the interview that Matthes Phosa gave on ENCA will know what a wrecking ball the present ruling party has become.
Mr Mantashe failed to note that President Zuma made it clear that the ANC comes before the country. The people of South Africa, naturally, will not accept that. They want to come first and they want the resources of the state spent on them and not on the ruling party elite.
Mr Mantashe must take immediate steps to prevent the ruling party members from continuing as South Africa’s arch counter-revolutionaries.
Issued by Dennis Bloem, Cope spokesperson