Editor's Note - 17 January 2014

By Drum Digital
18 January 2014

Is Zuma really the best you can do?

Arrogant or ignorant?

Which one is the ANC? In 1994, the party won 62 % of the vote in the elections. In 1999 it obtained a landslide two-thirds majority, in 2004 it registered 69,7 % and in 2009 electoral support fell to 65 %.

New market research conducted by Ipsos suggests that this year’s ANC general elections scoring could dip to 53 %.

This is to be expected. Let’s focus on what we know: most South Africans have no confidence in Jacob Zuma as our president. Outside the ANC (and maybe even inside) he is not wanted as president. Yes, he did win at the ANC’s electoral conference in Mangaung. I was one of the journalists covering the event. His popularity among most of the 5 000 delegates was undeniable.

However, Nkandla (and the explanations we’re given for its costs), his shocking and cringe-worthy utterances, his wives (yes, they matter!), his unclear policies, his patronage-driven administration, the Guptas, the dwindling economy and his cabinet’s ineffectiveness are too much to bear.

So, imagine our shock (or lack thereof) when the ANC NEC reiterated its stance that Jacob Zuma would be the face of the party’s election campaign.

Herewith some unsolicited input for the ANC NEC from someone on the outside who is in touch with the people: this is one of the worst decisions you’ve ever made.

If you spent time outside your own lekgotlas and listened to what South Africans are saying, you’ll understand that.

No amount of rallies, food parcels, song and dance threats of “white people coming back into power”, and patched-up promises can change that.

Your 2014 manifesto is also not a genius creation or unique (see our story on page 12).

The issue of land restitution is overdue, fighting corruption is a given (if not ironic coming from you, given the face you want people to put a cross next to), and all the opposition parties have education and job creation policies.

So, what are you offering South Africans? Continuity? Of whose legacy? The Madiba one, which South Africa and the world buy into, or the Zuma one?

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