The inauguration of Ramaphosa and the degeneration of the ANC


The inauguration of Ramaphosa and the degeneration of the ANC

17 February 2018

Cyril Ramaphosa took office as president of South Africa yesterday, as the chosen representative of the African National Congress (ANC), and with the enthusiastic support of the major imperialist powers and global corporations.

His elevation to the highest office of state epitomises not only the political bankruptcy of the perspective of bourgeois nationalism, but the transformation of the old nationalist movements, which once professed anti-imperialist and even socialist goals, into direct instruments of imperialist rule. Moreover, workers in every country will recognise in Ramaphosa a particularly venal expression of the role of trade union bureaucrats everywhere as loyal servants of the state and the employers.

Two things recommend Ramaphosa to the world’s bourgeoisie—his fabulous wealth and the fact that he earned it through a readiness to deal ruthlessly with the working class, whose struggles first brought the ANC to power 24 years ago.

In yesterday’s State of the Nation address, Ramaphosa pledged to continue “the long walk” to freedom, in which “all may share in the wealth of our land and have a better life” and to realise Nelson Mandela’s “vision of a democratic, just and equitable society.” But Ramaphosa’s promise to end the era of corruption and “state capture” by the multi-billionaire Gupta family, which characterised the rule of Jacob Zuma, is based on pro-business policies that can only worsen the desperate situation facing workers and youth.

Ramaphosa will act on behalf of corporations who bridle against the clientism and nepotism of the ANC government because it acts as an impediment to their ability to fully exploit South Africa’s rich resources of…

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