Last Sunday, in a public speech, Jessie Duarte, the Deputy Secretary-General of the African National Congress (ANC), spoke thus: “Comrades, …. You know in your heart that you can never live in a country where there is no ANC – because the opposite to that would be chaos, and undoubtedly, lead to a civil war that none of us want.”

This might have been casual ANC arrogance, like Zuma’s remark that the ANC would rule until Jesus came back. But it might have had intent. It might have meant that every other party was unfit to rule or that the ANC would stage a military coup if it lost an election.

ANC government has been a disaster for South Africa, especially for poor black people. The ANC are corrupt, incompetent, and destructive, and care for nothing except enriching themselves. They have looted and wrecked just about every institution in the land, including public education, public transport, the municipalities, Eskom, and SAA. The expanded unemployment rate is 43%, hunger is widespread, and violent crime is rampant. We are doomed while the ANC is in power but there seems no hope that the ANC will ever lose it – for the indefinite future at least. Is Duarte warning us that the ANC will take to arms if the people vote against it? This is what Zanu-PF did in Zimbabwe. When the people voted overwhelmingly against it in 2008, Mugabe’s soldiers tortured, killed, and broke the bones of Zimbabweans who voted the wrong way. The ANC supported Mugabe enthusiastically, and made sure he retained power. Maybe Duarte is hinting, “We’ll smash you if you vote against us, just as we smashed the people of Zimbabwe when they voted against Zanu-PF.”

There were uneasy, imperfect parallels among the white community in the 1980s, when the ruling Nationalist Party (NP) was reforming apartheid and a militant, hardline white faction was gaining votes and calling the NP sell-outs and traitors (“veraaiers”). There was talk about a possible white coup. It seems preposterous now but didn’t at the time, and if circumstances had been different I think it might have happened. I finished a late degree in engineering at UCT in 1986, and then moved up to power stations and factories in the Eastern Transvaal and Natal. There was a frightening difference of mood between the bourgeois white students at UCT and the white working-class operators, artisans, and technicians in the factories. The students supported the ANC and thought the NP were racist oppressors; the workers supported the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging and the Conservative Party and thought the NP were liberal sellouts. The hardline whites had the potential to control overwhelming military and industrial force. They had the potential physical means to stage a coup. They could have smashed the ANC as easily as swatting a fly.

Apartheid ended because the masters of apartheid lost the will to continue it. They had other aims, including moral aims, besides the aim of clinging to power. After 1976, they stopped fooling themselves that apartheid could ever work. It shocks some people to admit that a primary reason the NP leaders chose to end apartheid was simply Christian decency, and a feeling of shame for the suffering they had caused. FW de Klerk, when he came to power in 1989, accelerated a process already in motion. He held all the physical power necessary to maintain white minority rule but chose to surrender it. With brilliant skill and courage, De Klerk managed between 1989 and 1994, to disarm the white hardliners who might have staged a coup.

By contrast, the ANC had no military power at all. They were derided as the world’s most useless guerilla army, and regarded with contempt by the Russians who sponsored them. But they did have a strong will to power. They were useless against armed soldiers but mightily effective in terrorising poor, unarmed black civilians in the townships. They fought like tigers to stop any other black party coming to power as they saw apartheid ending. Now they are in power and, unlike the old NP, they have no moral qualms and one aim only, to keep power forever. They don’t have the physical means to keep power against a party as determined as them but with military competence. They have wrecked the South African armed forces; the South African army, once feared throughout Africa, is a joke. Photographs in this week’s media show South African soldiers, in battle fatigues and with big guns, arresting surfers on the beach for violating some absurd regulation. That’s about all they are fit for, but that would be enough to terrorise unarmed civilians if the ANC needed them to do so.

Are we doomed to perpetual ANC rule? It seems so. The Economic Freedom Fighters is just a louder version of the ANC, and it looks very unlikely that any party or combination of parties could get more votes than the two of them. But if they did, there is no party with the military means to stop the ANC retaining power by force, as did their hero, Robert Mugabe.

(Postscript: Duarte’s honesty about the ANC is infinitely preferable to the feeble, dishonest, harmful ramblings of President Cyril Ramaphosa on its 109th birthday.)

The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR

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Image by Amber Clay from Pixabay


  1. One maybe cannot disagree with Kenny’s “hysterical” opinion at first view. I do think though that one should consider our federal system – albeit weak: If the ANC loses power municipality by municipality, and province by province, then such “coup” by the ANC is less likely. This can and could be seen in the DA winning first Cape Town and then W Cape, as well as its successes (albeit short-lived) in Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Johannesburg.
    In summary: If there is a gradual shift away from the ANC, the sheeple that currently vote for the ANC will merely gradually follow (or should I rather say ‘begrudgingly accept’) their new “shepherd”.

    • unlike Marcell’s remark you are totally correct in saying that a gradual erosion of the ANC power base is in all our interests. Anyone saying that a civil a civil war is an option has never endured one nor even studied the horrors involved.

      • Lloyd is right. A slow process of undoing the ANC’s African Nationalist agenda is the way to go.

        Commentators like Marcel, are almost always young and arrogant men who have never experienced the real horrors of war. It was like that before WWI and II. It was like that in 1987 when I joined the Border War, which in its truest sense was more of a bloody adventure than a full scale civil war, which is 10 times worse.

  2. The ANC will never relinquish power. But I don’t think they’ll even need to resort to Mugabe tactics either. They have an ace-in-the-hole. For years they’ve been ‘cultivating’ a majority underclass who are being kept undereducated so that they remain beholden to them through their desperate need for perpetual social grants. This is the ANC’s very own ever-growing personal electorate guaranteed to deliver them to power every time. Keep them hungry, keep them growing, keep them dependent.

    • I think your summary is accurate. Every time I travel out of the metropole going past RDP villages between major cities I wonder what the hundreds of people living there actually do for a living, being situated so far from major industrial and mining areas. I joke with my wife pointing out the VBS. Not the erstwhile bank of course but the government’s Voter Breeding Stations.

      • And its quite telling that the article points out that the ANC became the preeminent political movement through terrorizing black people. What is never discussed is how decades before 1994 and indeed years before embarking on a campaign of terror against white civilians the ANC had gone on a vicious spree of terror in the townships murdering all the black academics and intellectuals who actually saw where everything was going and wanted to engage with the government.
        The ANC wanted their rivers of blood even at the cost of brutalizing the very black people they claimed to be fighting for the campaign of terror overshadowed even the wildest accusations of anything the Government of the time was alleged to have done.
        It is surprising that in about one generation blacks in general forgot that. Such is the power of propaganda

  3. What were you smoking Andre Kenny, your socks or sniffing the glue?

    “NP leaders chose to end apartheid was simply Christian decency, and a feeling of shame for the suffering they had caused” Whaaat? Politicans have no conscience.

    The only reason that they capitulated is that they were loosing power to other white parties. So they did what all politicians do, Took the money and ran while the going was good. Kissinger as the representative of the Globalist Oligarchy gave them a way out. A nice comfortable retirement with guaranteed with offshore hidden cash.

    It is exactly what politicians do. Remember these to things.
    People with huge Ego’s are called politicians.
    There is no such thing as a civilised gang.

    They are manipulators in essence. Colour is irrelevant, except when it comes to money. Green and Gold are preffered. Greed and envy & desire are the common denominators. Manipulators are among the most clever and devious, accomplished liars.

    Politicians ignore possible solutions that have no special-interest backing, but only those that might present a better trade-off than the solutions thrown about, especicially if a profit can be made.

    We see in this very day, politicians and bureaucrats cannot eliminate a virus any more than they can eliminate terrorism.
    What they can do is use terrorism, a virus, and other real, exaggerated, or manufactured crises to expand their power at the expense of our liberty.

    Politicians will never resist the temptation to use crises as excuses to gain more power. Thats how they become weathy.

    With this manufactured crisis, there is too much money beeing thrown around by the Davos billionairs for them to resist, They are making hay while the sun shines and that is a fact. Who is making the money under the current crisis, Politicians, their corporate backers and billionairs, all at the expense of the middle class and the poor.

    The Politicians creed. Taking action is anything that justifies drawing a salary. Even if it is destructive. Any money hanging around “low hanging fruit” is finders keepers.
    It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it is all about how well you place the blame.
    When all else fails take the money and run.

    Ever hear of a politician admitting to a mistake?

  4. This is sooo tru… “The Conquests of Communist Propaganda.” Thev’ve done it…A Demoralization of the population. Over 20/30years. People cannot conclude or decide on anything or even find the truth to anything… 2ndly…A Destabilization…whereby one cannot differentiate anymore. 3rdly…A Crisis…developes…2/5 years, much like what has happened in Central America… And lastly, An Ideologically “A Normalization sets in.” Only for the “Tanks” and Armoured vehicles to be set loose upon its people…Much like what happened in Czechoslovakia….?

  5. I was quite surprised when Zuma stepped down without any major issues. Who knows what future surprises the future holds.

  6. We mere mortals can and will make do somehow, sometime and nowhere else but in South Africa…we have nowhere else to go, cannot afford relocating…age-wise or money-wise. Moral of the story….suck it, swallow it and then extricate it….whatever comes our way…sad but oh so part of life for the few who could’nt, did’nt AND would’nt take the Angola route of the 60’s when the “opportunities” arose and showed themselves.!

  7. Kenny, why would you interpret JD’s public utterances to represent ANC thinking? I’m no expert on ANC matters and would love to know.

  8. Now I wonder if Duarte has a Twitter account? Would that be suspended / closed like Trump’s was for inciting violence? I guess lives of people living in ‘excrement’ holes don’t really matter.

  9. Re “We’ll smash you if you vote against us…”, that’s just happened in the USA with shocking efficiency. I can’t decide which is worse, the men with guns or the ones that can silence the opposition through voter fraud and media manipulation.
    And now I hear that the same activity can be seen at work in Japan and South Korea.
    The COMITERN is on the march and we’re sleeping.

    • Is Duarte warning us that the ANC will take to arms if the people vote against it?
      A lot of people actually emigrated because of that reasoning, only the poor & too old to have emigrated will suffer the consequences.


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