The past while we seem to be witnissing the rather pathetic second attempted ‘coming’ of former President Kgalema Motlanthe. The first ‘coming’ having been his short stint as caretaker President, when he momentarily kept the Presidential chair warm for President Zuma, after the removal of President Thabo Mbeki.
Let me pause for a moment and explain why I refer to Motlanthe as former President, while continuing to confer full presidential titles on Presidents Zuma and Mbeki. For those keffing chihauhua’s who always complain that they are all ‘former Presidents’, let me once more repeat the explanation that the Secretary General of the ANC, comrade Ace Magashule, had given several times: Namely that it is not the tradition of the ANC to refer to our Presidents as ‘former’. Once we in the ANC have elected them we continue to refer in deference to them as Presidents, and draw lessons from their tenures as ANC Presidents, whether they are still alive or have passed on. The State has former Presidents, the ANC only has Presidents.
Therein lies the rub, Motlanthe is a former President, because he was only for a very short while President of the country, and was never President of the ANC. He lacks the legitimacy of having emerged from the grassroots, and rank-and-file of the African National Congress. This is something that Motlanthe seems to be accutely aware of, and what drove him in Don Quixotic style, to have opposed President Zuma for the Presidency of the ANC at the National Conference in 2012 in Mangaung, when it was amply clear that he did not stand a chance at all.
Yet, he pained for the Presidency of the ANC, because he knew that without it he fundamentally lacked ligitimacy. Apparently having had a small sip at the proverbial presidential gilded chalice of power, he found it intoxitatingly tasty and wanted more. What followed was an election drubbing, and painful public humiliation, that unceremoniously relegated him to early retirement.
This personal disaster for Motlanthe was long in the making in that he always lacked grassroots support, and a solid constituency within the ANC, having been parashuted into the position of Secretary General of the ANC, similar to Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe straight from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Like them he is first and foremost a trade unionist, and not a grassroots ANC politician who emerged through the ranks of the ANC, and was shaped by the Liberation Movement. They will always be Johnny-come-lately visitors, who knocked and entered as guests through the front door, rather than as children of the ANC who had grown up in the house.
Like them Motlanthe is constantly in search of legitimacy, but his situation is worse in that his audacious and unbridled ambition drove him to the foolish decision to oppose President Zuma, and thus humiliated and sidelined himself. He has only himself to blame, but instead he has turned on President Zuma as the scape-goat for his self-made discomfort and pain.
Having been a supporter of President Zuma, and actively and entusiastically participated in the removal of President Mbeki in favor of President Zuma, Motlanthe emerged from Mangaung bitter and twisted in his sudden hatred for Zuma.
This was nothing else but sour grapes, but he tried to disguise it, and dress it up, in the robes of newly found ‘morality’.
The same person who left his first wife and family in dire financial straits – even to the point that they were to be evicted from their family home in Midrand – while he was hanky-panckying with the secretary of the then Treasurer General of the ANC, Mathews Phoza, and showering her with the new gained largesses of his short-lived Presidency, endeavoured to recast himself as an ‘angel of morality’. The same person who was close in friendship to businessman Sandi Mjali, and arrangements for dubious donations from the oil gate scandal, suddenly mounted a moral high-horse, and became an anti-corruption cruscader. The same person who was saved – when his shameful conduct of having left his wife and family in the lurch facing eviction became public knowledge – by Mjali who paid his bills in order to prevent him public humiliation at the hands of the media, could not conjure up the common decency to attend Mjali’s funeral after he became embroiled in scandal and died a lonely and suspicious death in a Sandton hotel on the Christmas Eve of 2010. Suddenly the re-invented paragon of morality had no time for his old friend and benefactor, who had done so much for him.
Similarly Motlanthe also had no time for his wife and family, because he had dropped them and seamlessly moved on with Gugu Mtshali, the former Luthuli House secretary, who under his tutelage had undergone a wonderous transformation into becoming a business woman. Her first business deals were with the Guptas , through Motlanthe’s excellent contacts with the family. Serious allegations make the rounds about how Msthali used Motlanthe’s name, and new found ‘fame’ as short-lived President and former President, to make lucrative business deals and front for him. From not having been able to pay the monthly rent for a modest family home in Midrand, Motlanthe and his new wife have, almost overnight, become very wealthy. However, how it all orginally started in business dealings with the Guptas, have all been swept under the proverbial carpet.
This angel of morality with horns, after his short stint as President, set up the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation in Houghton Estate with ample – apparently unlimited – resources from mystery donors. Most of them from well healed Western-Europeann and USA international donors, among them the Open Society Foundation of George Soros. From this dubious, but well-funded, ‘moral pulpit’ that Motlanthe erected for himself, he proceeds to present himself as an elderly ‘statesman’, who can moralize, pronounce, and pass judgement on his fewllow comrades.
Targetted for special attention, and attack, is always President Jacob Zuma. Who can forget the pathetically, shameful, episode when the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation ganged up with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and the FW De Klerk Foundation, with no other purpose but to attack President Zuma? It was the coalition of the wounded, brought together in their bitter hatred for President Zuma, but presenting themselves as so-called guardian angels of morality. That Mbeki and Motlanthe – because of their unbridled hatred for President Zuma – were prepared to make common cause with an apartheid criminal, such as De Klerk, against a fellow ANC comrade remains unforgivable. That trecherous event will continue to haunt them to their graves.
In recent months – and especially during the past few weeks – Motlanthe seems to have been emboldened in his crusade to present himself as the ‘High Priest of Morality’. He is now lecturing all and sundry about how they ought to behave. Just in the past week he had advice for the Secretrary General of the ANC, that he should not complain about being viciously targetted by the White Monopoly Capital (WMC) media, and that his supporters should not come out in support of him. The legal team of President Zuma were lectured that they are apparently giving wrong advice, and that President Zuma should simply subject himself to the bias treatment that he is receiving from the Deputy Chief Justice Zondo. To object to this is according to Motlanthe – from the high throne of his self adorned moral priesthood – “unseemly”.
Needless to say all this comes as unsolicited advice, with no intention to help those who are the objects of the former President’s moralistic musings, but simply to be used in vicious White Monopoly Capital (WMC) propaganda campaigns against those who are the targets of Motlanthe’s malicious advice.
In his desperate search for relevance, and to settle scores to embalm his bruised ego, Motlanthe has become a useful idiot for the attacks of White Monopoly Capital, and their paid media outlets. Pathetically, he has become the proverbial clay in their hands.
The latest in this unseemly display of pseudo moralistic fronting, is apparently an interview that has been heavily advertised for viewing this afternoon, by NewZroom Afrika, in which Motlanthe is advising MKMVA members not wear combat fatigues, and to stop marching.
He conjures up this ‘advice’ despite never having been a member of MK. History also shows that during his tenure as Secretary General of the ANC he never made any effort to address the plight of MK veterans. Yet, now, he arrogantly thinks that he can dish out advice to those whom he had in the past treated with thinly disguised contempt, and wanton neglect. No doubt this ‘advice’ will come in the now all too well-known formula of the ‘elderly statesman’ rubbing his beard, and in measured tones presenting himself as someone of great ‘insight’ and ‘moral authority’.
However, with the liberation soldiers of MK this conman is going to have his cumuppens. They have been around for far too long. They have fought hard and relentless battles, and dedicated their lives to the liberation struggle. They are battle hardened, and tested, and know who is for real, and who is not. They can smell a pseudo-revolutionary, and imposter, by a mile.
In MKMVA the wannabe President, with his fragile ego and moralistic pretentions, has bitten off far too much. They will remind him simply of who they are (and recount their history in the liberation struggle), and the pathetic midget that he is by comparison.
In trying to pronounce how true liberation fighters should conduct themselves, Motlanthe has now gone far too far with his self-important arrogance. His spineless cowardice will be exposed, and he will finally be sent packing for the pathetic fraud that he is.
*Terry Dlamini is the nom de plume of a former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) commander.