Lesotho will never be a failed state

The last Sunday national elections in Lesotho were supposed to have been a watershed elections in the Basotho Mountain Kingdom finding a reprieve putting into power a party that would have entirely catered for their wishes and hopes in Lesotho in the future coming out of extreme poverty it faced with. However the recent election results painted a different picture has set a worrying political landscape which in my view Lesotho would take a miracle to revert.

But the pertinent question one is tempted to ask is that, are the people in Lesotho in need of a miracle which no one has a guarantee when it will fall upon the over 2 million landlocked country or the Basotho nation is comfortable with the prevalent poverty underdevelopment? In my opinion the real answer lies in the hands of the very same people who will now be led by a coalition government led by Democratic Congress (DC), a party of the former Prime Minister Phakaditha Mosisidi, who himself left the government about two years ago under a dark cloud and serious accusations of maladministration…

Lest we forget as voters, the more as electorates find ourselves in a serious tight-spot of being led by tyrants and draconian states, however within the mist of the elections outcome one is yet reminded that this is Afrika, anything is possible. The intervention of South Afrika through mediation efforts mooted by the SADC Troika, marathon negotiations facilitated by the former CODESA lead negotiator Cyril Ramaphosa yielded positive results in putting all stakeholders involved to broker a deal of early elections held on the 28 February 2015.

I believe in one way or the other electorates need to understand the power and privilege they hold in their hands in making sure that their elected leaders become accountable and they rule over a transparent governing administration which is people centered and one which prioritizes the hopes and aspirations of the majority of who lives in abject poverty and high rate of unemployment…

We can only hope that the coalition government works within their political ideological differences and party interest in making sure that peace and unity reigns in the mountain kingdom. The thriving economic environment in that country would make serious strides in alleviating poverty and underdevelopment.

Pula, Nala

*Teboho Modise is a writer, blogger and political commentator*

www.teboho.co.za

We need to get over Nkandla, and move ON

I think may of us would agree with with my view that the Nkandla issue is now becoming a bore and a broken record, we need to come to a conclusive end to this saga surrounding the private residence of the president of this Republic. I know for a fact that this debacle spiced with the well known chant of “Pay back the money” has sparked a huge row and interest in those who never thought they would follow or watch parliamentary channel on their television screens…

The report by the Public Protector titled “Secure in Comfort” revealed the rampant corruption throughout the project spearheaded by Public Works Department, surely heads rolled and internal disciplinary processes are taking place on those who are alleged to have had their hands in the Nkandla cookie jar.

But one can ask, is Nkandla just a single representation of the loop holes in our entire procurement systems or was this just a tip on an iceberg in how this cancer of corruption is slowly eating our entire government system?

Possibilities are abound on how we can reduce the Nkandla issue in how we should overhaul our procurement laws and procedures, thanks to Nkandla we can now breath a sigh of fresh air that this government does not take incidents of financial maladministration lightly.

However we should as a society not be found personalizing the Nkandla issue to an extent that we forget the bigger picture, yes the report did point out that the president must pay a reasonable amount on the non security related upgrades on his private residence, a recommendation which Zuma instructed the Minister of Police to come to a determination on the amount he his is duly responsible for within the stipulated over R250 milIon costs incurred.

Like any mature democracy, opposition parties are coming down very hard on president Zuma on that he must do the honorable thing and pay the money, however surely the opposition can’t expect Zuma to one day wake and go to parliament in admission that he will pay sizable portion of the total money spent so far on Nkandla upgrades, naturally Zuma needs a reasonable time to make sure that this Nkandla issue does not backfire not only to him but to the entire country.

The people out there suggests that the president doesn’t want to account to parliament over the Nkandla issue, my view is that how Zuma handles this hot potato would really determine how he will be perceived throughout his term till 2019, ideally Nkandla will either strengthen or weaken Zuma’s legacy and administration. His office and the ANC clearly do not take this debacle lightly, reciprocally so, if Zuma takes a fall, the ANC will be terribly shaken.

Again, we need to get over this Nkandla saga, so that we all continue with our lives without any dark cloud hanging on top of our country…

*Teboho Modise is a writer, blogger and political commentator*

Without Julius Malema clearly EFF won’t be red enough…

By: Teboho Modise 10 February 2015

We live in very interesting political times indeed, where people always scramble to find true political role models and well reckoned public figures, in this tricky search, people tend to fall for everything available out there. Some even want to define politics on deep moral basis, where the mistake of one political opponent is what is normally related to “one man’s poison, is another man’s food”. This narrative especially in our South African context stamps the hard reality that we are in a dire need for political leaders with high levels or decisiveness and progressive political vision.

A prudent question that one ask is that, is our country capable produce leaders who inspires confidence and hope?

I understand that anything that is written which has the name of Julius Malema in it is viewed as anti-Julius and not pro-EFF, but this assertion cannot obviously fester without any reason or fact, we all know why EFF was formed and its a known fact that after the expulsion of Malema and his right hand-men, the two were left out in the cold and were reduced to an unpleasant political wilderness. But could the ANC through its disciplinary committee could have reached a different conclusion apart from the expulsion verdict, I personally doubt in my view.

The writing was on the wall, the ANC and Julius has clearly fell out favor with each other and the only amicable solution was to part ways in 2011, EFF was then hatched, a party which is now representing anything with a suffix of “ism” ideology from Marxism to Fanonism, how a modern party can base their political conviction or position if any on such ideologies which sometimes carry huge deep contradictions in themselves, one can only wonder. Julius by many who fell out of favor with the current ANC leadership under the leadership of president Jacob Zuma is seen as a hero, a solution and remedy to stale South African oppositional politics, the red blood needed to be injected in our post democratic political arena.

However not strange enough, those who served with Julius in the ANC Youth League and those who believes the formation of his party was premature and ill-advised, are adamant that Julius and EFF is a funded project aimed at portraying Zuma’s administration as a failure and as a government that is only adamant to enrich a selected few connected comrades. They say this can be proved in many instances, from Zuma being labeled as an unrepentant polygamist to Zuma being the worst supposedly thief ever, by using the Nkandla issue as a scapegoat.

The current infightings in this new baby in politics, has proved that South Africa is still not ready yet for any black dominated party to challenge the ANC, although we live in a multi-party democracy, a political environment which is healthy, those who believe the EFF will dismantle the ANC from power are yet to be surprised yet again carbon copy of COPE led by Lekota, a party which bit the unpleasant political dust, EFF once again proved that it does not fall within the category of a political party that can be celebrated as a historic and hero-like birth of a party that can redefine our political landscape moving onward.

Only EFF can help itself from this apparent demise, the party needs to do a serious introspection if it is to rescue itself from its internally brewing storm which might wipe it away into political oblivion on what Malema has worked on supposedly so hard, EFF is his only last political bail-out, without Malema clearly EFF won’t be red enough…

*Teboho Modise is a writer, blogger and political commentator*

www.teboho.co.za

Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address must highlight goverment’s challenges and successes

By: Teboho Modise                             06 February 2015

Surely this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) promises to be very different from other past symbolic addresses, how so, one can ask, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) sticking to their guns that they would even go to parliament naked if they are again prevented from wearing their trademark red overalls and berets, surely the sparks certainly will fly come the 12th February when president Jacob Zuma will be delivering his second SONA since he took office in 2014.

EFF since Zuma’s last appearance in parliament was disruptive whilst the president was responding to the motions presented to his office…They chanted “bring back the money song” where within all the pandemonium erupted, the police had to be called in.
Since then, EFF and other opposition parties vowed to make sure that Zuma appears in front of parliament to account in whichever way possible.

EFF has again wrote to the speaker of parliament, Baleka Mbete in their persistent call for Zuma to have his day in parliament, the party further mentioned that they won’t mind to make sure the SONA does not take place. In response the office of the Speaker came out to remind EFF that parliamentary rules will be applied and further measures would be put in place to neutralize any outward developments.

However, on the other hand the ANC government I believe should use the coming Zuma’s address as a platform to acknowledge the government’s shortcomings or challenges whilst obviously highlighting the current government’s achievements.

The challenges facing the ANC government range from energy security (ESKOM and load shedding), to wide range of economic issues especially on the issue that unemployment rate is still high in this country especially that over 50% of young people in this country are still without jobs or rather are discourages to go out for employment.

Strategically it would prove to be on the advantage of the ANC government that it comes out more clearly on the current service delivery protests which has been seen mainly in the Limpopo and Northern Cape provinces.

This again brings into the fore the question on how capable is our municipalities in delivering efficient and effective services to the communities, do municipalities have the financial muscle plus relevant skills to carry-out properly their mandate.
Since the shooting of a 14 years old boy in Soweto apparently by a Somali national, the surrounding townships have seen the looting and violent acts by angry communities, the situation is still volatile and foreign shop owners have been advised not to return to their shops as yet.

Apart from the criminal nature of this whole debacle, clearly the issue of idling youth roaming the streets whilst they are supposed to be at school or running their own businesses warrants the attention of the Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu.

The rate of our economic growth has been sluggish in the past months, a situation which is dire to our country in creating much needed jobs in order to bolster household income and in putting bread to the table of many people who go to bed hungry everyday.

The successes of the ANC are enormous and forthright, they range from the government achieving a commendable matrix pass rate, to the ANC being able to increase its footprint in terms of decreasing the mother to child HIV infection, to the increased accessibility and provison of ARV’s at various health centers.
The ANC can pride itself in stabilizing the economy of the country through its inflation targeting and management of interest rate, policy interventions which has proved to work over the past 20 years.

Our country’s foreign policy has seen SADC through the much lauded intervention of our country stabilizing the volatile political impasse in the bordering mountain kingdom, fortunately, Lesotho is heading to general elections end of this month.

One can go on and on, however having mentioned all that, I believe it is prudent to note that the road ahead leading to the achievement of the National Development Plan (NDP) won’t be easy and won’t be a smooth ride and therefore, this reality requires an ANC government that is conscious and is speedily responsive to the economic challenges it is faced with.

*Teboho Modise is a writer, political commentator and a blogger*
www.teboho.co.za

Political cracks slowly showing in EFF

By: Teboho Modise                                      04 February 2015

It’s common and prevalent that those who enjoyed political closeness and ally-like relations to wake one day and be on each others throats, it takes a number and considerable series of developments for those who used that to drink from the same political well to come out guns blazing publicly denouncing each other.

The new political baby in our South African political sphere called Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) most recently couldn’t be spared from internal political volcano to erupt abruptly into the open since their landmark People’s National Assembly held in December last year in Bloemfontein, in the Free State.

Allegations are rife that an unscrupulous list was circulated during nominations and election processes, this list was said to have been “cooked” to favor those aligned to the EFF’s top six leaders whom most of them were elected uncontested including EFF leader Julius Malema.

EFF’s internal conflict(s) surely are of interest in what many would agree with me that EFF promised that it will never fall on the same trap that COPE, UDM and others are the political victims of, initially parties which have their deep rooted political convictions on that of the ANC seems to be following the same pattern of disintegration, whether this reality is good or not for our young democracy, surely the ANC and the DA will be the biggest winners if EFF is structurally weakened moving forward.

But the most pertinent question that I ask is that, can EFF get rid of its “one man party syndrome” a state that glorifies a certain individual leader, who in one stance is linked to the birth of a party. Obviously in retaliation, EFF can claim that those who are opposed to the current elected leaders are power hungry and are public sympathy seekers who don’t understand fully the party’s democratic centralism if any.

Ramakatsa, Andile and other leaders who were sidelined in the buildup or post EFF’s elective conference has before signaled that all is not good in the EFF and it was only a matter of time before the internal leadership battles cracks will start to resurface and be in the open…

These apparent leadership tussles although normal but not healthy in political organization has potential to further strengthen the party or they can crumble the fighter’s party into political wilderness which will not be a new feature in our political landscape.

After all, EFF must never forget that it was voted by over a million voters and these voters are watching developments within EFF with hawk’s eyes, before EFF can know it, they will again have to face the same voters next next year asking for votes and it might prove difficult for the party to regain the same zest of confidence most of these voters had in the last year’s general elections.

*Teboho Modise is a writer, political commentator and a blogger*
www.teboho.co.za

ANC has every reason to claim the Mandela legacy

Political contestation and the fight for territorial political space took a rather concerning turn when main political parties in South Africa had a tussle over the legacy and the name or to put it on relevant the brand Nelson Mandela. To many on the political sphere this was not surprising given how the political territory and success can be leveled against a certain individual.

The African National Congress (ANC) has always been associated with the name Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela for many decades, Mandela was born in 1918 just six year after the formation of the then South African Native National Council (SANNC), a political liberation movement which was later known as the African National Congress, where Mandela formed its youth wing called the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), together with the struggle icons like Walter Sisulu and others.

Worldwide people cannot speak about Mandela without associating him with the ANC, the ANC became the launch pad for Mandela’s political stardom and conviction, the ANC was inherently entrenched in his thinking and in shaping his ideology towards embracing the principles of the ANC that of non-racialism; non sexist and of a South African that is based on the political direction of the Freedom Charter drawn at the Congress of the People in Kliptown in the year 1955.

Mandela in his own words once said that the the day he leaves the world of the living he will in heaven look for the nearest branch of the ANC which he thus join without any hesitation, this to me marked a symbolization of how deep rooted the party politics of the ANC was cultured in him, indeed when he sadly left us last year in December, no one of us would have doubted that indeed he lived on his words in joining Govan Mbeki; Walter Sisulu; Oliver Tambo in strengthening the regiments of the ANC. in heaven.

Opposition parties mainly the Democratic Alliance were up in arms in claiming that the Mandela legacy belongs to all South Africans, and the ruling cannon necessarily and entirely claim his legacy, they further went to allege that was pinning their hopes in elections victory on the Mandela name and renowned reputation, as expected the ANC came out with guns blazing accusing the DA of political opportunism and cheap politicking based on chasing in on the brand and name which has nothing to do with colonial masters.

Hence my assertion and believe that to disassociate the ANC from Mandela will only serve to mean that the our history will now be re-written an attempt the DA and other parties will fail dismally. The ANC has every right to advocate Mandela’s principles; the ANC is better positioned to even defend the legacy Tata left; the ANC is right to dismiss all attempts by anti-revolutionists for them to lay claim un-deservingly to the Mandela legacy.

in this second transition under the leadership f President Jacob Zuma, the ANC government is ready to deliver the country into a radical socio-economic transformation environment which will redress the triple ills our country faces, that of inequality; unemployment and poverty. The five priorities of the ANC manifesto will make sure that the legacy of the former ANC president and stalwart Nelson Mandela lives ON.

*Teboho Modise writes in his personal capacity*

The ANC must thrive for quality membership, rather than just an increased membership numbers

As the African National Congress (ANC) today go on about the main event in further marking the oldest liberation movement in Afrika turning 103 years, the president of the ANC Jacob Zuma is expected to deliver what is famously known in the ANC ranks as the January 8 statement.

The ANC throughout the week leading to this year’s birthday celebrations promised to fill the over 50 000 capacity stadium with tens of thousands of its members, painting the city yellow.

The ANC’s Constitution mentions very clear that ANC members joins the party voluntarily, the question is how do current members translate this in saying the oldest liberation movement in Africa has reached a point where members should now show their allegiance.

To join the ANC is voluntary and participation too is out of a said comrade’s initiative and interest. Then this translates to a thought that when people associate themselves with a certain party or any other organization initially there’s a question of which interest and keen benefit can a person derive from such involvement.

Indeed something must give, however when now a person becomes a member of a political party because of selfish and greedy interest then, there’s a serious problem where now deep down a said comrade’s heart will within conjecture a thinking that by hook or crook he must wholesomely benefit.

And when this expectation and ‘reward’ does not come forth, then people start to lose the initial interest and vigor that they had after joining a said political party.

Organizations are strengthened by its core structural human capability and force, hence members of political parties are encouraged to learn the party’s culture; tradition and fundamental policies, this when properly gone through and this collection of paramount documents are engraved in a cadre’s thought and conviction , then such a party can pride itself with having reached a matured political space where its strength will reside with informed and well articulative branches.

Without doubt members of a party form a formidable structure and fundamental truism which a party tap in at anytime when a need arise, this beckons a critical call for well established matured political parties to put more emphases on building their cadre block, this is where now party political education comes in with own high importance, meaning every member joining a party is compelled to go through this significant period which cannot be ignored.

Party politics should focus on unity and cohesiveness which will be the glue to members finding their rightful place within a party, a party has an incredible and enormous duty in installing and enabling this atmosphere to rein.

This thought brings a very significant factor into the fore, leadership elected into power are expected to make sure that organizational systems provides for members to engage fully with them together with having robust sometimes progressively radical engagements with each other.

Leadership thus have in them the ability to put views forward which will inculcate an environment which breeds respect and maximum tolerance to opposing views.

Lastly, checks and balances needs to be put in place in monitoring the effectiveness of programmes such as political education and any other forms of body politic development a party is dishing out to its members, the benefits of well articulative and informed cadreship are endless, members are the first line of defense, in them lies the core center-ship on whether a party will grow or a party will reach a cal-desac…

*Teboho Modise writes in his personal capacity*

Nkandla the big elephant in the room, 2016 elections a litmus test for the ANC

The ANC has in the past being embroiled in many sagas which many predicted they will do a huge blow to the party’s image and credibility, but seemingly the party proves to be resiliently surviving this negative publicly and political mayhem, how the party manages to strategically dodge these political land mines, only the ANC leaders and spin masters can divulge all the juicy political strategies and tactics. However for one to have a deeper understanding on the impact of the Nkandla saga where the current ANC president is said have “unduly benefitted himself and his family” as per the Public Protector’s report titled ” Secure in comfort” released in March this year, the public out there needs to reasonably judge the current saga based on what is right as compared to what is perceived.

 

The ruling party since it took power swam in the ocean of many sagas like the arms deal and the travelgate saga, these scandals shook the ANC in one way or the other, they brought into light what many called the biggest unhidden fraud and corruption bust in the post colonial South Africa, although the truism behind this assertion is debatable, calls from the ANC front is that it is highly unreasonable for people to view these much highly publicized scandals as the ultimate sagas ever, as if the apartheid past never misplaced or abused public funds itself.

 

And the spin went on and on with regards to these scandals, they came and they passed, but the ANC continued to win the general elections with a huge majority, which in political terms reaffirmed the voters trust and confidence in the ruling party. Then, one is tempted to ask, can Nkandla cost the ANC badly in the coming 2016 municipal elections, this imperative question can be answered by looking at the performance of the ANC in this year’s elections and by predicting what might be the outcome of the 2016 local government elections.

 

This year’s much contested elections the ANC received just over 62% of the voter share as compared to the 2009 elections, where the party received over 65% of votes, the birth of EFF and it’s political comeback kid Julius Malema clinching just above 6% of the national share of votes, many political commentators believe that Nkandla and the Gauteng e-tolls might have been the main biggest contributor in the decrease of the votes the ANC received, whilst the formation of EFF again added salt to the wound on the loss of votes by the ruling party…

 

The 2016 local government elections I believe are going to be a litmus test for the ANC, in terms of testing its power and grip on the ground level, understandably so, local government is the coal-face of service delivery and it where physically the outcome of the ANC slogan of a batter life for all can be measured and closely monitored. The ANC in the past has beefed up its criteria on the nomination and appointment of its councilors, where communities were actively involved identifying their own preferred candidates…

 

Some say this method worked, some are of the view that it further entrenched the believe that those who are close to the powers that be, were given preference over other comrades. It goes without saying that the ANC as a ruling is faced with numerous post liberation challenges, however the party believe these challenges only serve to strengthen it and that the arty is taking out as much lessons as it can in continually improving in the governance of this country.

 

The fall of the ANC has been predicted many times before, but the ANC is still adamant that it is the only political party with the right policies and leadership to lead this country in the right direction in ensuring second economic transition. Surely as we enter the new year in 2015 the ANC’s electioneering machine and campaigns will kick-off haste and speed, where the January 10th gathering at the Cape Town stadium where president Jacob Zuma will be the keynote speaker will surely set tone for the coming 2016 local government elections.

 

Whether the Nkandla scandal, which in the center stage involves president Jacob Zuma will cost the ANC significant votes or not all we can do is to wait and see.

 

*Teboho Modise writes in his personal capacity*

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