At this rate, no one's going to vote at all in 2019
Every political party seems dead set on proving to us just how completely unalluring they are
Unless President Cyril Ramaphosa pulls a fast one on all of us and makes a dramatic announcement soon, we are now exactly one year from the 2019 national and provincial elections. Who will win? Sadly, our leading political parties seem to be working extremely hard to ensure that voters are so disillusioned that they will stay at home on the day.
The Democratic Alliance’s vaulting hypocrisy in dealing with its two leaders, Western Cape premier Helen Zille and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, and their transgressions has unmasked it as a leaderless, spineless, unethical and tone-deaf entity that now undermines particularly the black constituency it has attracted through its admirable stance against corruption. Forget the appalling and outrageous “colonialism was not too bad” view itself: the failure of the DA to act against Zille for her shocking racial trolling on Twitter, her continued showing of the finger to the likes of Mmusi Maimane by constantly asserting her discredited “view” that colonialism had its positives, can only lead to one result and it is that putting an X next to the DA becomes impossible for many. In the meantime, the party that sits on its hands while Zille trolls every right-thinking South African has thought up and implemented a special law to get rid of De Lille.Many of us remember this sort of thing when we see the DA’s quick and nasty “De Lille Clause”. The apartheid government came up with something similar to persecute and imprison just one man in the 1960s. The Sobukwe Clause was enacted in 1963 to arbitrarily keep Pan Africanist Congress leader Robert Sobukwe in prison without charge, trial or any review. It was apartheid at its most barbaric. Everything about the DA’s “De Lille Clause” today reeks of the Sobukwe clause. Mmusi “They say I am Mandela” Maimane, if he really espouses what Madiba stood for, should be ashamed to be part of this lynch mob.
So that’s the main opposition party in South Africa: wracked by racial bigotry and hypocrisy, happy to stand by Helen Zille while she, week in and week out, taunts and puts embers in black people’s open sores about the cruelty and inhumanity of colonialism.Then there is the EFF, the second biggest opposition party in our constellation. The EFF is in bed with the DA in Tshwane and Joburg while it flirts with the ANC through letters. What does it stand for when it is not “cutting the throat of whiteness”, as its leader tells us, or denigrating those who point out that its leaders’ behaviour is Mussolini-esque? Nothing. It is all very Shakespearean in the EFF: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
The ANC is committing hara kiri – and voters can see it. When Ramaphosa won the ANC presidency in December 2017 the party was given a new lease on life. After years of dreadful decline, it suddenly had a real chance of turning around the years of sloth, corruption and ennui it had found itself mired in.
Yet, four months in, it is clear that the ANC is perhaps incapable of change and that significant chunks of the party have already started a “fight back” campaign to undermine Ramaphosa and the party’s last chance at salvation. Unless Ramaphosa can still outsmart and outmanoeuvre these elements, the ANC will continue with the decline it experienced under Jacob Zuma.Last weekend Ramaphosa visited eThekwini region in KwaZulu-Natal with other ANC national working committee members to try and assess progress being made with unifying the party there. They slapped him in the face. The branch delegates to the meeting sang at Ramaphosa: “Uyenzeni uZuma?” (What has Zuma done?)
Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane sang and clapped happily along.
Just two days before Ramaphosa had arrived in North West to quell the violence that had erupted there. While he met Premier Supra Mahumapelo and others, a crowd of Mahumapelo-supporting ANC members had gathered outside, threatening violence if the scandal-soaked premier was ousted.
The corrupt ANC wants Zuma back. The upstanding ANC is weak.
So, who to vote for? COPE’s Mosiuoa Lekota is flirting with the right wing while Bantu Holomisa of the UDM has gone deathly quiet. The IFP clings on to its “leader for life”, Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Poor voters. Our choices are so dire.