Misstep no longer – ANC’s troubling terror trajectory
Recent events have exposed a disconcerting pattern in the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) international stance, evolving from celebrating terrorism, to aligning with terrorists and, most disturbingly, endorsing a group implicated in heinous acts. As we examine these developments, it’s imperative to question the party’s commitment to ethical diplomacy.
First: 11 September 2001: celebration of terrorism
Amidst the chaos and grief following the 9/11 attacks, the ANC’s response exhibited a disturbing lack of condemnation and empathy. Troubling statements emerged, casting doubt on whether Al-Qaeda should be labelled terrorists. The scepticism surrounding such a fundamental truth – that a group responsible for mass murder should be deemed terrorists – set a disconcerting tone.
Particularly alarming was the conduct of Eastern Cape Premier Makhenkesi Stofile, a prominent ANC figure. His insinuations, questioning whether the attacks constituted legitimate resistance, added fuel to the fire of moral ambiguity. Such statements not only failed to condemn the perpetrators but implied a perverse sense of justification for an act that resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives.
Moreover, reports surfaced detailing the unsettling behaviour of ANC representatives who openly celebrated the tragic events. This celebration in the face of immense human suffering painted a grim picture of the party’s moral compass. The sight of individuals affiliated with the ANC expressing joy or support for an act that caused widespread devastation not only defied common decency but also raised serious questions about the ethical foundations of the party.
These actions, collectively, showcased a concerning deviation from the expected norms of condemnation, empathy, and moral clarity. The ANC’s response to 9/11 highlighted a disturbing trend within the party, one that suggested a willingness to entertain narratives that sought to justify or downplay acts of terrorism rather than unequivocally standing against them. Such behaviour, especially from political representatives, underscored a concerning lapse in moral judgement and ethical responsibility.
Second: 7 October 2023: aligning with terrorists
Fast forward to October 2023, and the insensitivity continued as Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet displayed a striking alignment with the Palestinian cause, raising serious concerns about the impartiality and ethical stance of the ANC. Their press conference, conducted with an unmistakable show of solidarity, occurred when wounds from one of the worst and most savage terrorist atrocities in history were still raw.
The ANC’s overt support, before Israel initiated its ground operation in response to the aforementioned tragedy, underscored a startling lack of sympathy for the victims and their families. Palestinian symbols proudly adorned by members of the cabinet during the press conference spoke volumes about the party’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of adopting a measured and impartial approach, the ANC exhibited a worrying trend of political bias that undermined the principles of fairness and objectivity expected in international affairs.
The cabinet’s symbolic support for the Palestinian cause also raised questions about the ANC’s commitment to understanding the complexities of the Middle East conflict. Such a display of alignment, devoid of a nuanced appreciation for the historical context and the intricate dynamics of the region, fuelled concerns about the party’s role as a fair and unbiased actor on the global stage.
In essence, the ANC’s premature and unequivocal solidarity with the Palestinian cause demonstrated a disconcerting willingness to take sides without a comprehensive understanding of the situation. This overt display of political bias, especially before Israel initiated its response, revealed a party more interested in grand gestures than careful examination of the facts on the ground. Such actions not only undermined the impartiality expected in international relations but also showed a lack of diplomatic finesse and empathy for the victims of the tragic events.
Third: 11 January 2024: supporting terrorist atrocities
The climax of this troubling evolution occurred on 11 January 2024, when the South African government chose to act as the legal arm of Hamas. Using blatant lies and deception, it sought to tarnish Israel’s reputation before the international community. In doing so, it not only denied Israel’s right to exist but also neglected the well-documented acts of terrorism perpetrated by Hamas, including torture, kidnapping, rape, and murder against individuals, spanning from unborn babies to the elderly and everyone in between. Falsely accusing Israel of genocide further exacerbated a narrative that distorts the reality of a conflict in which Israel has consistently aimed to minimise civilian casualties.
To underscore the gravity of the ANC’s actions, one can draw a parallel with Zapiro’s infamous cartoon of Jacob Zuma. Just as the cartoon depicted Zuma violating Lady Justice while his cronies held her down, the ANC’s support for a group implicated in atrocities can be seen as asking the international community to hold real Israeli women down while Hamas terrorists rape them again and again.
In the face of these distressing events, it’s crucial for citizens to take a stand. The ANC’s actions are no longer diplomatic missteps, they are in support of terrorism and atrocities. As South Africans, we must voice our concerns and call for accountability.
Vote them out
The upcoming elections provide an opportunity for citizens to express their discontent and demand change. Our votes can serve as a resounding rejection of a party that has strayed far from the values we hold dear. It’s time to restore integrity, empathy, and justice to our nation’s diplomatic endeavours.
In the face of the ANC’s troubling alignment and support for actions that shock our conscience, let our ballot speak loudly. We must choose leaders who prioritise human rights, justice, and ethical diplomacy. The future of our nation depends on it.
- Daniel Schay is a member of the City Council of Johannesburg, and he is on the committee of Jewish National Fund SA. The views expressed are the views of the author alone, and don’t represent the views of any organisation or political party.