Dabbing and gabbing on the election trail

2016-07-24 21:09
ANC siyanqoba rally (Thulani Gqirana)

Johannesburg – A dash of dabbing and some dagga references, promises, pandering and a storm of self-praise filled Sunday’s electioneering efforts as political parties made a final push ahead of the local government elections.

“This is our land; it must come back together with the dagga that grows on it,” Economic Freedom Fighter’s leader Julius Malema told supporters gathered in Zamdela in the Sasolburg area in the Free State, according to the party’s official Twitter account.

He also suggested that if his party succeeded in the upcoming elections it would increase child grants, but "Not to encourage the making of babies. Making babies is a matter of energy not child grants", he said.

Meanwhile, the ruling party’s two head honchos also hobnobbed with potential voters, with President Jacob Zuma, who arrived by helicopter to the Lephalele region in Limpopo, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who conducted intimate meetings with various households in Tembisa's Phomolong area.

According to a tweet by SABC journalist Mahlatse Gallens, Zuma described the Democratic Alliance as the “child” of the National Party, before warning traditional leaders and the elderly gathered at the Seleka Community Hall that “a snake bears a snake”.

'We will work for you'

He later headed to the General Thulare Stadium to address the large crowd gathered in front of a grand stage draped in party colours, complete with two super-size banners featuring Zuma's beaming face.

Meanwhile Ramaphosa told the various families who crowded into living rooms to share their experiences with the deputy president, “Don’t lose hope, we will work for you.”

The ANC’s Twitter feed also offered a tasting menu of some of the concerns and commendations these ordinary South Africans had raised with representatives of the ruling party.

According to the ANC’s social media account, a woman identified as 'Mme Tlhako' thanked the ANC for creating a tarred road, as before, “we never used to have visitors when it’s raining”. 

Someone else on Twitter, described as “neighbour” added, “We thank the ANC for the houses; we are able to stay together with husbands and children”.

And some dabbing

Meanwhile ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize took a more light-hearted approach in his drive to get votes in Mthatha. 

Wherever he went, he was sure to encourage residents, young and old, to pose with him doing ‘dabbing’ – a popular culture dance phenomenon that sees people jerking their heads towards their elbows in a motion that half resembles athlete Usain Bolt’s victory flash ­– or just a quick deodorant check.

While current Port Elizabeth mayor, Danny Jordaan, spent Sunday morning at the Victory Ministries Church in Gelvandale, the Democratic Alliance made a last push to wrest control of his metro at its 'We can Win' rally.

"We're the only party that stands for... values of unity, the rule of law, and building an inclusive economy,” leader Mmusi Maimane told crowds that earlier went wild greeting him and mayoral candidate, Athol Trollip, as they entered the indoor sports centre at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Maimane again asserted the party’s affinity to Nelson Mandela saying it would be appropriate for the DA to “win in this metro named after Mandela”.

Shared allegiance

Recently controversy arose over the opposition party’s referencing of the former president, ANC stalwart and global icon.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande was in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape and his attire – a red T-shirt with both the SACP logo as well as a slogan declaring the need to 'vote ANC' – showed his shared allegiance.

Other officials scheduled to be on the campaign trail on Sunday included ANC chairperson, Baleka Mbete, who attended the unveiling of a tombstone for anti-apartheid activist Solomon Mahlangu’s mother in Tshwane  as well as a walkabout and public meeting in Mamelodi. 

NEC member Bheki Cele attended a rally in the Nongoma area in Kwazulu-Natal, while ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine was expected to attend church in Bloemfontein.

Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille, also hit the trail in a bid to retain control over the Mother City after August 3 when South Africans will have the chance to cast their ballots for the parties of their choice.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

Read more on: local elections 2016