There’s a certain kind of wind that blows through South Africa at election time. For the governing party, it’s a wind that feeds a steely determination to convince millions of voters that it should still be their party of choice on May 8, election day.
For opposition parties, it is a wind of madness that stirs the politically insane thought that one of them has done enough and carries sufficient appeal to be first past the post when the results of the May general elections are announced.
This optimism that has bewitched the opposition is so far removed from the political realities of present-day South Africa that one can be forgiven for thinking that the lesson in the saying, “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride” has galloped past those parties which see themselves as South Africa’s next government in waiting.
Optimism is not a political sin and is to be welcomed. But there is no chance that the DA under that fake African Barack Obama, Mmusi Maimane, or the once-portly Julius Malema, who in his political hubris has appointed himself commander in chief of his party of spoilers, or Mosiuoa Lekota’s COPE can win in May.
Neither will Bantu Holomisa’s UDM, or the Freedom Front Plus, which has retrieved the colourful pensioner Peter Marais from retirement in an effort to nibble at part of the coloured vote in the Western Cape, cobble enough votes together between them to form a coalition and govern South Africa.
Despite this, the ANC is not taking victory in our sixth general election for granted. We learnt a hard lesson in the last local government elections: Taking our supporters’ loyalty as a given is unacceptable and disrespectful.
We are working hard to achieve what president Cyril Ramaphosa has described as a decisive victory.
A decisive victory will be one of such a magnitude that it will show that those who have been saying support for the ANC is on the decline are wrong. A decisive victory will also show that South Africans believe in and want to be part of the new dawn that President Cyril Ramaphosa is advocating around our country.
A decisive victory will also be a vote for non-racialism, non-sexism and one cast against the politics of hate, corruption and self-enrichment. South Africans want to leave the slippery road of disunity and return to the path of reconciliation and be united as a nation. That is part of the vision of a new dawn.
A decisive victory will also tell Malema that his mad-hatter policies as espoused in the EFF election manifesto have not resonated with voters and have been rejected at the ballot box. The ballot box, and not despicable and boorish behaviour in Parliament, is the ultimate test of connecting with voters. We are confident that South African voters will give Malema and his crazy manifesto a big brush-off.
Another reason we expect voters to spurn the EFF is that this so-called anti-capitalism party finds nothing wrong in sleeping with that champion of capitalism of a special kind, the DA.
The DA version of capitalism is one that ensures that the dominance of those who previously grew fat on apartheid’s benefits continue to do so.
Black South Africans are not stupid. They know that while the EFF has popularised the slogan “pay back the money”, the party and some of its insiders have also become fat on the fruits of their alliance with the DA.
Black voters also see through Malema’s blustering and threats to end the marriage with the DA. They can see that conservative white interests have cunningly exploited his greed for power, as well as the insatiable ego that drives him to prove that he is a big political player. They have captured him.
While Malema wants to give the impression that he keeps the DA in governance in Tshwane and Johannesburg, he has become a political stooge, one that brings back memories of and comparisons with those so-called leaders so loved and used by colonial powers. He is not using the DA: He is the DA’s pawn in Gauteng.
In the Western Cape, political insanity has sent the DA over the edge. As part of its election manifesto, the DA is advocating a provincial police force. It takes nerve or perhaps pure lunacy for a party that could not even manage the distasteful Patricia de Lille saga to think it can con voters into believing that it will give them a provincial police corps.
Voters are not as gullible as the DA thinks. They know that if the DA could have formed a Western Cape police service that reported to the Premier it would have done so by now. After all, if this were allowed by the Constitution, the queen of serial tweeters, Helen Zille, would have launched one in the first 100 days of her Premiership and we would not have heard the end of its achievements.
Still, the DA obviously believes that it should not let the facts stand in the way of its desperate exploitation of the fears of Western Cape voters about crime. It’s the same desperation that has seen the DA planting posters all over the province demanding that voters keep the ANC and EFF at bay. Few people buy this nonsense given the romance between the DA and EFF and their joint hostility towards the ANC.
We have said it over and over: The season of the blue tide in the Western Cape is over. We are confident that we are ready to govern again. This confidence is not born out of our own form of political delusion, but out of the political reality that support for the DA and Maimane is rapidly declining. At the same time, Cyril Ramaphosa’s popularity is soaring.
For Malema, it’s only a matter of time before the sun will start setting on him and his fellow DA captives because South Africa is yearning for Ramaphosa’s new dawn and for an end to the politics of anger, racism and divisiveness. He has begun to act against corruption in the most decisive way.
It’s this firm action that voters want at this point of our history. The corruption tide is turning and voters will show their appreciation in May.
- Faiez Jacobs is the Provincial Secretary of the ANC in the Western Cape.
OPINION: Faiez Jacobs