I walked out into the Joburg City centre and into an atmosphere filled with anxiety, a most unsettling atmosphere in the air, almost the feeling one must feel just before a civil war, the DA crowd (which was no longer than a single office block) marched right past me, their security almost outnumbering their members, none looked too peaceful for a peaceful march, they hissed at anyone with an ANC flag, itching for a fight, all kinds of heavily armed policemen and Special Forces guys in a variety of different police vehicles escorted them down Marshall street, snipers on the roof.
Their leadership had convinced them that marching to Luthuli House for jobs was a good idea, they did not disagree, ‘6 million good jobs’ said their leaders, ‘yes’ said their followers, ‘6 million good jobs’ so they marched right down the road and out of sight…
Our political leaders are prepared to stoop to new lows as the election date draws near, pitting people against one another for the silliest of reasons in a country crying out for unity, equality and love.
At Beyers Naude, some ANC members waited growing restless, bricks at the ready…excellent work by the security forces ensured a three office block gap between the two groups, the past has taught them well.
ANC! ANC! ANC! ANC! ANC! ANC! AMAAAAAAANDLA! AMAAAANDLA! These chants reverberated from Luthuli House throughout the city of Johannesburg at just about midday today, it was difficult not to be moved as memories of the Freedom Struggle came flooding back, all those images we’d seen of mass protests against an evil and oppressive regime came to life and were playing themselves out in front of our eyes.
The ANC was clearly relishing this to the maximum, the captive crowd was made up mostly of the unemployed, young and old, Black and White, as a ‘thank you’ for the social grants, as a ‘thank you’ for the child grants, the leadership sat smug, today they were not being booed, their glory days had returned, in their minds at least.
It soon dawned on me that This was ANC territory through and through, the One thing in the world they did extremely well, playing victim, even while enjoying the numbers advantage they managed to put it into their followers that they were afraid, they were being pushed around by the DA, they feared their Head Office would be vandalized, razed to the ground, they intimated that their members ought to come in their numbers to protect them – during the Freedom Struggle many ANC leaders played this tune to perfection and million dollar mansion doors were swung open for them and their families, their kids being sent to the most exclusive schools in the world on donor money – nobody sings that tune better, once sung we must forget how useless they’ve been since 1994, we must forget that they’ve forgotten the noble ideals of the Freedom Charter, and we must forget the R30bn that went missing under their watch.
As the time went by, tension intensified, the ANC became more vocal, sanity prevailed and the DA marched straight back to their waiting buses, toddlers in tow, with neither party being a winner on the day.
After all is said and done, today, both parties did a lot to convince me that neither of them deserves my vote.