Reader’s letter: History and negotiation, a present that reflects the past


Fanie Cronje writes:

The ANC is currently facing the same challenge as the former National Party (NP) with regard to the future of the party and the country.

In 1990, former president FW de Klerk and the ruling NP chose the “peace path” which culminated on February 2, 1990 in the speech that led to the beginning of the negotiation path.

One of the major controversial decisions was the banning of the ANC, but also the SACP, PAC and others. There was tremendous opposition from their own “right-wing” ranks and of course also from the so-called far-right grouping. However, the then president and party continued and ensured prosperity for South Africa, of course only until a despot, namely Jacob Zuma, took over power.

The ANC is currently facing the same challenge.

The Iqbal SurvĂ©-led media and social media attack against an ANC/ DA/ IVP is fierce. There is even some of the so-called mainstream media that indirectly shares these sentiments. The DA is largely branded as an apartheid party and all kinds of expressions of selling out to “capitalism” are thrown around. Similar statements are also being made in our own ranks and especially on the part of Cosatu.

Can President Ramaphosa and the ANC, similar to De Klerk and the NP at the time, take a similarly brave and influential decision? This will be in the interest of the country and especially the economy. However, it must be prevented that the process is later hijacked by other radical elements (as in the case of Zuma and the RET). This is an opportunity, like in 1990, to save the economy and to protect the negotiation outcome that started in 1990 (even before that) and to secure the negotiating future.

The challenge for President Ramaphosa and the current ANC is to continue with courage and a vision for the future, despite the opposition inside and outside the party. It requires a strategic approach to unite the country and guarantee economic and political stability. Just as De Klerk had the courage to make radical changes at the time, Ramaphosa must now take the lead to build an inclusive and progressive South Africa.