Xenophobes and guards come to the May 8 party
Saffers can't say they have limited choice when it comes to finding a political party that chimes with their needs
An openly xenophobic party, one that wants Afrikaner secession, a party fighting for coloured people, and another one representing security guards. These are just some of the colourful political formations that have made the ballot for the May 8 elections.
South Africans will be spoilt for choice when 48 parties will vie for their affections on the national ballot paper.
It doesn’t come cheap: the Independent Electoral Commission charges R200,000 to contest national elections and an additional R45,000 to participate at provincial level.
But this hasn’t deterred a number of hopefuls, including the National People’s Ambassadors (NPA), a political outfit from KwaZulu-Natal whose mission is to banish all foreigners from SA.
“Our main focus is to make sure foreigners are expelled from this country. They must go back home,” said NPA president Nathi Mthethwa.
He blames foreigners for the high crime rate, accuses them of taking away limited job opportunities from South Africans, and believes they are responsible for the general filth in the country.
“They must give us space to deal with our problems.”
Mthethwa said his party’s “Operation Clean-Up” targeted all foreigners, documented and undocumented. Once they had left the country, only those with scarce skills would be allowed to reapply for re-entry as documented migrants.
“Operation Clean-Up is at the top of our manifesto. This gang has taken our entire land, our RDP houses. They also benefit from our health system; that is why government has such a huge problem. South Africa has too many unwanted guests,” Mthethwa said.
Another party seeking seats in parliament is the Compatriots of South Africa, a Port Elizabeth-based formation whose sole purpose is the upliftment of coloured people.
“We want to be the voices of our people, the people of colour. We are the forgotten people, the brown people. When it’s elections time you see everybody in our area, but as soon as elections are over the gangs take over and there’s nothing left for the people of colour,” said party leader Cheslyn Felix.
Compatriots of South Africa was campaigning in areas where there was a high concentration of coloured people, particularly the Western and Northern Cape, the Nelson Mandela Bay area of the Eastern Cape, and townships including Ennerdale and Eldorado Park in Gauteng.
“We want to be the voices of our people. Our masses support us; we stand for our people,” said Felix.
The party was registered in July 2018 and Felix, who described himself as an entrepreneur, said the R200,000 registration fee had been raised mainly by himself.
‘Fight for rights’
If you are a security guard looking for a political home, the African Security Congress (ASC) could be for you. Its deputy president, Mpostoli Mnisi, said it was formed by security guards to fight for the rights of the security guards. He claims they have 250,000 paid-up members and are recruiting more every day.
“We formed it to fight for the rights of security guards. We are being undermined; hence we formed this party to get attention from government,” he said.
Mnisi said they registered the party in 2017 and this would be the first time they would be contesting elections. Their recruitment campaign was concentrated in areas where security guards work.
“We campaign at malls, on trains, at factories and at mines. We campaign where security guards are.”
Front National, led by Daniel Lotter, is described as a “centre right political party formed in 2013 that promotes secession and Afrikaner self-determination”.
It contested the 2014 national elections but attracted just 5,000 votes. Lotter could not be reached for comment, but the party will probably be hoping for a better performance this time.
Other hopefuls include the International Revelations Congress, based in Tshiawelo, Soweto. It describes itself as a party that seeks “better quality leadership and services to all citizens”.
The Free Democratic Party of SA seems to style itself after the Free Democrats in Germany, adopting similar colours. Except that its registered address is in Sandhurst, Sandton. There’s not much else available about what this party stands for.
Voters will also have the option of choosing between these parties: Better Residents Association; the Land Party; Forum for Service Delivery; Economic Emancipation Forum; and the South African Maintenance and Estate Beneficiaries Association.