28 November 2007

Scorpion vs Scorpion

When one scorpion meets another one, the question is always the same, and a wrong answer can be fatal. The question is: Friend or foe? Love or death?

The article by Mandla Zulu, from Sunday’s City Press, linked below, paints a deadly picture of intrigue both within and without the ranks of the NPA/DSO/Scorpions.

By rights, the Scorpions should be abolished. They are a total mess and a write-off. They are trouble, waiting to happen. Let us just hope that they do not now team up with Jacob Zuma and buy themselves another useless life that way. Why would Jacob Zuma want to befriend his persecutors, the Scorps? Well, perhaps because “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” in some peoples’ eyes. Vusi Pikoli pursued Zuma for two years. Now that Pikoli has been chastised by Thabo Mbeki is he all of a sudden a safe ally for JZ? Some people seem to think so. They should watch that Scorpion’s sting very carefully.

But this nicely raises another question: Who are going to be JZ’s supporters in the future? Will they be the same ones as supported him through his trials? Or will there be an overwhelming rush of new-found lovers, such as embraced the ANC in hordes in the period after legalisation in 1990? And will JZ be strong enough to reject these suddenly super-friendly characters?

Eager suitors are lining up, with money held out in front of them. At least one of them, Tokyo Sexwale, is doing so shamelessly, in flagrante, and in public (see the second item, below). How will JZ handle them? Will he be able to resist Machiavelli’s advice (quoted here from “The Prince”)?

“… those men who at the commencement of a princedom have been hostile, if they are of a description to need assistance to support themselves, can always be gained over with the greatest ease, and they will be tightly held to serve the prince with fidelity, inasmuch as they know it to be very necessary for them to cancel by deeds the bad impression which he had formed of them; and thus the prince always extracts more profit from them than from those who, serving him in too much security, may neglect his affairs.

“And weighing well the reasons for this in those examples which can be taken from ancient and modern affairs, we shall find that it is easier for the prince to make friends of those men who were contented under the former government, and are therefore his enemies, than of those who, being discontented with it, were favourable to him and encouraged him to seize it.”

In other words, a “Prince” (meaning any leader) might decide to turn away from his rebel comrades, and make a pact with the former supporters of his enemy. And Machiavelli advises the Prince to do this, because it is safest for the Prince to do so.

Is this what happened to the ANC in the 1990s? It found it safer to befriend its former foes, the monopoly capitalists, for the sake of an easy life? Then let us hope this does not happen again.

The statement of COSATU’s Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary, Norman Mokoena, gives encouragement (see the third linked item, below). It exposes, in very clear terms, the deliberate processes that have led to Cde JZs current strong position, and urges cadres “not to be complacent by the overwhelming victory over the last weekend, but that we must always be vigilant”.

Indeed, we must.

Click on these links:

Black Scorpions Revolt, Mandla Zulu, City Press (769 words)

Sexwale throws in lot with Zuma camp, Hajra Omarjee, Business Day (704 words)

No one can stop the working class, Norman Mokoena, COSATU (682 words)


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