Trial in time to save the campaign

2011-04-23 10:53

The ANC must be thanking its lucky stars for its youth league president Julius Malema this week.

The son gifted the party with a resurrection of his own. The resurrection of its moribund election campaign, that is.

The ANC has always been brilliant at elections, but it is having a torrid time this time around.

Faced with the spectre of a record number of independent candidates, most of whom are ANC members left off the final lists of candidates, the campaign is taking unusually long to get traction.

The party was much better at being a liberation movement than a governing party.

It was more strategic, hardworking and pragmatic in the trenches.

The ANC’s record in government has been patchy – brilliant in bits but very poor in others, especially in local government.

It is saddled with a president who is friendly but over-indebted to too many constituencies to be decisive: President Jacob Zuma can’t or won’t fire his local government minister, Sicelo Shiceka.

Already, its Gauteng provincial office-bearers have warned that the Pikitup strike has rubbished its tactics for the golden province.

And so the trial was like manna from Heaven.

It allowed the party to reclaim the moral high ground and remind South Africans just who liberated the country.

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