The fundamental boos apply as time goes by

2014-04-20 15:00

Yes, each instance of President Jacob Zuma being booed on the stumps this election campaign can be explained in perfectly rational ways.

Gauteng, December 2013. The memorial for our founding president, Nelson Mandela. It’s a Gauteng crowd, rowdier than the ANC is used to and possibly egged on by the party’s provincial bosses who are notoriously ABZ (Anything But Zuma), or perhaps instigated by the Economic Freedom Fighters, who started up operations in Gauteng before fanning out across the land.

Jacksonville, Port Elizabeth, March 2014.

The Eastern Cape is still an ANC stomping ground, but in Jacksonville, some residents boo the president on the stumps.

Well, this time, more people welcomed him than booed him and there are parts of the Eastern Cape where people have had it with the ANC’s terrible record in government.

The hospitals, schools and general systems are often a mess, and Pretoria bureaucrats keep having to parachute in to fix things.

Malamulele, Thohoyandou, April 2014.

The residents of Malamulele burnt ANC T-shirts and booed the president even as he said he had not yet seen their memorandum to insist on their own municipality.

They do not want to fall under Thulamela in a fight that goes back to apartheid divisions, but is not helped by democracy’s failings. In Malamulele, residents believe they are being discriminated against because of old fissures, but their plight is rationally placed within a general context of poor local government.

Their answer: We want our own municipality.

Each case of booing is different, yet similar.

President Zuma is associated with state failure and the long wait for water, jobs and good schools.

The wait has persisted for too long.

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