I drove home today mulling over the disappointing reversal of several ANC leaders who are now saying they should not have criticized the outrageous Cabinet reshuffle initiated by President Zuma last week. It occurred to me that this kind of allegiance to an institution might just be the face of evil.
Individuals are wounded and broken and can make awful choices, but it requires institutional support for evil. That institution can be a family, a community, a religious body, or, as in this case a political one. But for a broken person to truly have a damaging impact on the world requires collusion.
I don’t know Jacob Zuma’s story. I cannot say that would not make similar choices had I walked his path. But the ANC machinery is colluding and evil is manifest in our country.
This is not to say that the ANC has not been a real force for good in the past. It clearly has. But it has lost its way.
After I got home I read an article in News24 which quotes Gwede Mantashe as saying “what do you think the ANC is, Father Christmas? I don’t know where this notion comes from that we are a collection of individuals who have conscience. We are members of the ANC in a party political system.”
What hope of being a force for good in the world does institution have if it demands loyalty over conscience? Sooner or later a damaged person will come to power and evil will fly.
If evil is only really manifest when we come together, maybe the same is true for good. Who are your community? Who are you standing with?