It's a wrap - now for May 18

2011-05-15 22:44
Cape Town - The country's main political parties have wrapped up their election campaigns, with Nelson Mandela invoked, the "madam and the monkey dance" slated and a more measured call for a stronger democracy.

President Jacob Zuma, addressing tens of thousands of supporters at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Sunday, said the ANC will win all municipalities in the country to bring about meaningful change.

"We know that many of our people still do not have houses, water and electricity," he said.

Zuma said to improve monitoring and performance, the ANC government, together with the people, would ensure that all ANC councillors serve those they represent and were accountable to them.

The rally was broadcast live to venues in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.

ANC Youth League firebrand president Julius Malema was on the warpath against opposition parties at the weekend, taking swipes at DA leader Helen Zille and IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

"There is no democracy in the IFP. An old man who is refusing to go on retirement even when he is sick wants to die president of the IFP," Malema said in Msinga, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, on Saturday.

He referred to Zille as the "madam" who "moves around doing a monkey dance looking for votes".

Nelson Mandela vision

Zille said at the DA's final rally, held in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats on Saturday, that hers was the only party that could make Nelson Mandela's vision of a better life for all South Africans come true.

"We are the party that's been working hard to build Madiba's vision," she told about 2 000 supporters.

Zille quoted Mandela's famous speech from the Rivonia trial and said as he vowed to fight against both white and black domination, the DA was trying to unite South Africa and relieve poverty while the ANC played race politics.

"The DA vision is the same vision that Nelson Mandela had spoken about in that dock in the Rivonia trial," she said in a speech delivered in a mix of English, Xhosa, Afrikaans and Sotho phrases.

On Sunday Zille told the community of Lebogang township in Govan Mbeki municipality, Mpumalanga, the public could choose five more years of poor service delivery and toyi-toying, or they could choose five years of steadily increasing access to housing and basic services by choosing the DA.

'Uncaring government'

The ANC was a "self-centred and uncaring government," Buthelezi said on Sunday, adding that the National Freedom Party (NFP) was driven by "personal ambition".

The NFP is an IFP splinter group led by former IFP national chair Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi.

"The truth is that voting for this new party is no different from voting for the ANC, whose influence and finances in the NFP are there to see for anyone who cares to look. The NFP is a party with not a single credible personality or policy."

The elections were at the weekend described as a "battle for the cities".

Johannesburg will see two sons of Soweto go head-to-head.

The ANC’s mayoral candidate is a no-nonsense workhorse, who ran a low-key campaign because the governing party decided not to officially name its mayoral candidates.

For the first time, the DA has fielded a black mayoral candidate: Mmusi Maimane, who is an urban political party’s dream. Slick and street-smart, he charmed everywhere he went on the hustings, from the country clubs to the township markets.

For the first time, the city had the semblance of a race to watch. From 1994, Johannesburg has run a racial poll: blacks vote for the ANC and whites, along increasingly with coloureds and Indians, vote for the DA.

How will it end? The DA predicts a close race with the possibility of a small ANC victory.

The Mother of all Battles is expected in Cape Town, with both the DA and ANC raising the spectre of a hung council.

By Saturday, the DA said it would get an outright majority of an estimated 51% of the vote.

But the ANC, under new provincial leader Marius Fransman, has built up a head of competitive steam and has brought in a crack team that has pulled the fractious leadership together.

In Tshwane, the ANC and DA have both indulged in heavy election fishing in enemy waters to ensure they capture the City of Tshwane on election day.

The ANC has courted the city’s Afrikaners, Indians, Portuguese and Jews while the DA has wooed the townships.

Whoever wears the mayoral chain after the election will be boss of one of South Africa’s biggest metros.

With a current population of 2.2 million - 72% black, 24% white, 2% coloured and 1.5% Indian or Asian - and 1.3 million registered voters, Tshwane’s current 76 wards will increase to 105 with the forthcoming incorporation of the bankrupt towns of Nokengtsa, Taemane and Kungwini.

On Wednesday the city’s voters will ­determine the future of an administration beset with corruption problems.

In the Nelson Mandela Metropole, the two biggest opposition parties are prepared to join forces in a coalition government to wrest control from the governing ANC.

Cope’s mayoral candidate, former ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama, said a coalition was on the cards.

DA mayoral candidate Leon de Villiers agreed. “Our campaign has been very effective across the metro."
 
The Congress of SA Trade Unions used the weekend's last minute electioneering to describe Zille as a "genetically modified individual" who had only realised the values of former president Nelson Mandela in 1999.

In Gauteng, the DA accused the SABC of bias for refusing it live coverage while devoting a two-hour live broadcast to the ANC's final rally in Johannesburg - a claim the public broadcaster has denied.

Twitter

The DA claimed the decision violated the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act (IBAA) because it was not equitable or consistent.

It announced that it would provide real-time coverage of the election results, including analysis and projections, via social networking site Twitter.

President Jacob Zuma joined Twitter just last week, using his first tweet to encourage South Africans to vote. He had more than 600 followers within an hour.

Congress of the People (Cope) congress national committee member and a Western Cape provincial task team deployee, Leonard Ramatlakane, on Sunday assured new party members that it has "cleaned out [its] house and all disputes regarding the party's direction were over.

"There is only one party, one leadership, one candidates' list, one headquarters and that there is one hope for this country - in the Congress of the People."

'Blasphemy'

The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) on Sunday attacked the ANC's religious pronouncements, accusing it of blasphemy.

These included the pronouncement that "the ANC will rule till Jesus comes", "the ANC, SACP and Cosatu Alliance is the holy trinity", "voting for the ANC is a ticket to heaven" and likening the Freedom Charter to the Bible.

Denying that it was trying to canvass support, the CDP said it was merely asking people to express their disapproval and dissuade the ANC from continuing its declarations.


- News24

Read more on:    cope  |  cosatu  |  da  |  cdp  |  twitter  |  anc  |  nfp  |  ifp  |  sabc  |  nelson mandela  |  mangosuthu buthelezi  |  jacob zuma  |  helen zille  |  julius malema  |  politics  |  service delivery  |  elections
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