ANC, not Swapo has lost its way - Diescho

October 16, 2014, 11:38am

ANC, not Swapo has lost its way - Diescho

Leading Namibian political analyst Joseph Diescho says that unlike its sister liberation movement the ANC, Swapo has not lost its direction and focus.

Diescho told Namibian Sun yesterday the ANC had lost its way at its Polokwane national conference in 2007, where then party and State President Thabo Mbeki and his followers were defeated by Jacob Zuma.

Mbeki was subsequently recalled as State president in 2008 and Zuma has been in power since 2009. His presidency has been plagued by several personal scandals.

“There was a break-up in the moral fibre of the ANC, because it commercialised politics and that is different to Swapo,” Diescho said.

He was reacting to Namibian Sun enquiries about a meeting - purportedly held between visiting members of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) politicians last Saturday in Windhoek.

The EFF delegation was in town to attend the election manifesto launch of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), which has been branded by South African media as a Namibian EFF branch.

Diescho, who admitted meeting with EFF parliamentarian Magdalena Moonsamy “for coffee”, said he did not know about the SPYL/EFF meeting, but added there would be nothing wrong if the two groupings had met.

He said the EFF was also not a factor in Namibian politics, as it had been the Marikana massacre of dozens of miners in South Africa in 2012, which made them relevant in that country.

He said Namibia had not experienced a Marikana and Swapo had not lost its direction, which meant the EFF’s politics would not gain a foothold here.

Diescho said the fact that Malema and his party were backing the NEFF would not make them perform better in the upcoming general elections, especially in terms of the youth vote.

“The NEFF does not have a story. They are copycats of the EFF. There is nothing new and nothing to motivate the youth. You cannot create a movement by imitation,” he said.

During the May general elections in South Africa the EFF powered into third place, garnering well over a million votes and 25 parliamentary seats. Since then, they have been the most vocal party in parliament and a thorn in Zuma’s side.

‘Secret meeting’

Yesterday, the NEFF claimed the EFF had held a secret strategic meeting with three senior SPYL politicians to discuss the economic emancipation of the poor.

The NEFF said the Swapo politicians had asked the EFF to withdraw its support for the Namibian party until 2018, while the Namibian ruling party’s youth league champions the economic liberation of the masses.

The meeting, according to the NEFF took place this past Saturday, after their manifesto launch.

Moonsamy did not disclose the names of the three SPYL politicians to the NEFF.

However, another EFF delegation member, parliamentarian Andile Mngxitama said yesterday: “I cannot deny or confirm that a meeting took place. You must ask the SPYL. All I can tell you is that we met with different politicians when we were there, including those from Swapo.”

SPYL spokesperson Job Amupanda said he does not know of any meeting, but people should not be harassed because of whom they associate with.

He referred specifically to Swapo youth politician Mandela Kapere who also confirmed meeting with Moonsamy as they were old friends.

“There is freedom of movement and people meet and associate on different levels. People should not be harassed for romancing or becoming friends with certain people,” Amupanda said.

Political commentator, Omu Kakujaha-Matundu, said as opposed to Malema, who is very articulate and popular, the NEFF leadership does not have the same charisma.

“I have seen how the NEFF leaders articulate themselves on issues on TV and their manifesto launch. This is not the kind of articulation you need to attract the youth.”

Elvis Muraranganda: Namibian Sun