Sibongile Mafu

DA sniffs around Zumaung

2012-12-19 13:01

Sibongile Mafu

The decision is final. The ANC has decided. President Jacob Zuma has been elected as the ANC leader again, securing 2983 of the ANC voting delegates’ votes, with Motlanthe securing 991. He will lead the party and the country into 2014 and a vague beyond.

Like a movie

Mangaung has made for interesting viewing over the last few days, more specifically, yesterday only. This end of year party masquerading as a national conference didn’t grab my attention over the weekend, where I found myself reconciling with cocktails and sunsets during the Cape Town heatwave, but yesterday’s events really pulled me in.

I didn’t want to care about a decision that was inevitable and had very little to do with me. I knew that the ANC would elect Zuma, regardless of the amount of kicking and screaming that came from people on the sidelines. I knew that temporary Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe would lose by a large margin. He will now have to leave the tribal council area immediately. I observed anyway. It was like watching a movie you’ve seen countless times before, a movie whose plotline you can recite backwards and forwards, but a movie which continues to surprise you even though you know what’s coming.

When the voting results came through that Zuma had trampled on Monthlanthe, I feigned some mild shock at the dramatic nature of the beating, knowing that it was, for the most part expected. I didn’t however expect the sheer number of young people who’d enquire about joining the Democratic Alliance when it was announced. The drama! Is the Zuma dislike so powerful that one individual is linked to the ideals of the entire party, where people will exit en masse because of his selection? The amount of people using social media to communicate with the likes of DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and DA leader Helen Zille, asking about “where I can find DA forms” was incredibly odd.

Keep calm. Kind of...

What moved me even more was the preparedness of the DA for such a reaction. They were ready with their avatars (the unimaginative Keep Calm and Vote DA) - I’m ready to “Keep Calm and Kill Myself” over this “Keep Calm” thing – and link people to their sites – a smart move for an opposition party that has thrived on being an opposition to "the Zuma party."

There was even comment from DA about how the decision by the ANC to give Zuma a second shot at it was bad news for South Africa. Zille didn’t waste any time in pointing out that Zuma’s appointment within the ANC, his party, one she has very little to do with, will “hasten the ‘disintegration’ and collapse of the ruling party.” She added that many ANC members and many more ANC voters will feel alienated by the decision in Mangaung - something she has been banking on.

Zille has every right to comment. Just like the rest of us. She can be considered a South African citizen too, regardless of the fact that she’s a DA member. I kid. Only a little bit. There was a palpable excitement around the DA when the top 6 was announced, especially Zuma’s selection. The DA was positively salivating at its party’s future prospects, and the eagerness of trigger-happy young people who feel there is nothing in the ANC for them anymore.

For the most part, DA will be able to credit the increase in support for them, not for what they stand for, but what they stand against, which is for the most part is ANC president Jacob Zuma. And that is enough for them.

- Sibongile is a videographer, blogger and social media enthusiast who would be nothing without her thumbs. Follow her on Twitter: @SboshMafu.

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