The recent party political branch in-fighting where some members were hospitalized brought back some odd memories.

Many years ago I was invited to a meeting by a senior political leader. The meeting confirmed that he would likely lose the provincial leadership of his party since he did not have enough support within the regional structures. As the meeting progressed the details for this lack of support became apparent.

One incident that stuck with me was the strange case of a braai. According to tradition each MEC was allocated a region and was to ensure that the branch support was secure. Perhaps those responsible did not fully realise the dire consequences should they lose support. Only history can attest to this.

Those in leadership wined and dined, begged and pleaded with the branches to do the right thing. One MEC decided to motivate his base by having a traditional “chop and dop” the night before the branch conference. The next day he lost the vote as several of his supporters did not attend. The narrative that followed suggested that many were so drunk they could not wake-up or remember.

By losing the branches, the region was lost. Losing the region cost the leader control of his party.  Sometime later he was recalled and his cabinet replaced. In the years that trailed, the party was defeated provincially and many municipalities followed. By replacing a few key people that could have curtailed the electoral gains of its competitors, the majority party set into motion a program of decline.

History confirms that any party, society or government that is divided against it-self will inevitably decline.

 

In the words of Abraham Lincoln “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters”.

 

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress