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Iain Botha
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7 Reason Not to Vote for the ANC

30 January 2014, 05:30
This weekend came & went and apart from maybe indulging in a bit too much liquor, probably seemed uneventful.

However if you paid any attention to a number of stories that broke over the past weekend, it showed that the ANC has not only completely lost its moral integrity, but revealed its utter disregard for democratic principles; (and at risk of sounding melodramatic) is well on its way to turning SA into an autocratic nation.

I’ve hand-picked 7 stories that highlight this. Think of them seven reasons why not to vote for the ANC if you are truly committed to a democratic and non-racial South Africa.

1.) Allegations of Vote-rigging in Tlokwe: A court case has been opened after claims that hundreds if not thousands of people that partook in the recent Tlokwe by-elections were not legitimate voters (i.e. they were registered outside the area in contention, gave false or incomplete information & were bussed in from outlying areas).

Whilst this may only be a small local government election, if the claims are true, it has set a dangerous precedent for the upcoming National elections later this year. Not to mention the fact it throws up some serious questions around both the independency & legitimacy of the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission); and this comes on top of allegations of maladministration & corruption by its head, Pansy Tlakula, who was involved in the ‘grossly irregular’ securing of a R320m lease agreement for the IEC’s HQ last year – to which the ANC conveniently came to her defence.

Perhaps this interdependent relation between the ANC & IEC is the reason as to why JZ is so confident in retaining over 60% of the national vote, or why they’re already claiming to have up to 30% of the ‘foreign-based’ vote. 

2.) Zuma’s Spiritual Blackmail: At the ANC’s manifesto launch in EP over the past weekend JZ preyed on naivety & supernatural belief systems of his electorate by stating that those who leave the ANC will incur the wrath of their ancestors who will cast ‘bad luck’ on them forever if they do.

This comes after criticisms for other controversial pseudo-religious references he has made in the past, such as the notorious “the ANC will rule until Jesus returns” and “even God expects us to rule the country”.

Apart from the fact that any political party should aim to ‘govern’ not ‘rule’, the fact that for a large portion of the South African population that ancestors and spirits are very real to them, dictating their lives and actions, makes his utterances nothing less than spiritual blackmail.

3.) Its Silence on Overtly Racist Comments Uttered by its Leaders: There have been numerous instances of this over the years and comments by Desmond Stevens (who is the Deputy Dir. Gen. of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries Dept.) over the weekend are no different; who against the backdrop of the on-going ‘Line-fishing Rights’ row reportedly said: “My Madiba-installed tolerance level for Caucasians (whites) has just expired … Please stay clear from me if you fit the universally defined descriptions”.

Without getting into the issues behind this outburst (which has negative repercussions for thousands of fishermen & retailers/hawkers, majority of who are Coloured or Black); the silence from the ANC on this and other overtly racist comments made by those in authority is deafening and implies a tacit approval of such opinions.

As such, the majority of white South Africans who do not have the luxury of dual citizenship are becoming increasingly marginalised, deeply distrustful, vulnerable to other racist attacks and politically impotent. So much for multi-culturalism.

And whites are not the only target in this form of blatant racism, as who can forget government Spokesman Jimmy Manyi claiming “there is an over-concentration of coloureds in the western Cape”, or the typical rhetoric from ANC supporters that ‘coloureds only vote for the DA in the Cape because they have been tricked into thinking they’re white’; and then there are the barrage of insults that black people get when they criticism the ANC (or are pro-DA), been called ‘clever blacks’, ‘coconuts’, anti-revolutionaries’, ‘tea ladies’ or ‘rent-a-blacks’.

4.) Increase in Political Intimidation: This revolves around the responses made by the ANC and its tripartite alliance members in connection to the proposed march by the DA to Luthuli House, the ANC’s HQ; in protest of lack of truly sustainable job creation, referring to JZ’s promise to provide 6 million job opportunities.

The ANC’s spokesman Jackson Mthembu has called this an act of “extreme provocation” going on further to say “we should remind them what happened when they marched somewhere” – referring to the DA’s 2012 march to COSATU’s Head Quarters in which DA members who were congregated peacefully were assaulted & stoned by COSATU members. COSATU reiterated Mthembu’s fighting words and has warned of bloodshed if the DA goes ahead with its planned march.

The SACP has gone a step further saying that this is a “declaration of war against the ANC” and has vowed to march on the private residences of DA leaders in the Cape. These words not only reek of political intolerance and are in themselves tantamount to political intimidation, with veiled threats of violence; but shows that the ANC disregards the fundamental rights on which SA is formed, by denying ones’ constitutionally enshrined right to protest peacefully.

Or is it only ANC members that are allowed protest? (The ANCYL and their poo-flinging tactics in WC comes to mind.)

5.) ANC’s Hypocrisy: It seems the ANC has taken a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach when it comes to how they govern. Their hypocrisy is evident after the ANC based its election manifesto on rooting out fraud & corruption, yet this past weekend they put forward a number of candidates for high-ranking positions in the upcoming elections, including but not limited to; Northern Cape Chairman John Block, who is facing corruption charges and ANC NEC member (and former ANCYL treasurer) Pule Mabe, who was arrested & charged with fraud, theft and money laundering.

Then let’s not forget about Dina Pule, the former Communications Minister, who still remains as a member of parliament despite being found guilty of financial mismanagement & fraud. Then following the water shortage debacle in Madibeng in the North West last week, the ANC took it upon itself to re-shuffle the local government and appointed Douglas Maimane as a new Mayoral committee member, who was convicted of defrauding the public of R18m in the ‘Travelgate’ scandal.

So either they have a habit of protected/electing criminals (birds of a feather right) or the ANC ranks are just devoid of anyone of moral and ethical fortitude.

The double standards don’t stop there, as it was revealed that JZ recently approved a 5% pay increase to government officials which will cost the taxpayer R45m, this despite his own call for the private sector to institute a ‘pay-freeze’ to executives in light of the financial situation.

The lip service from the ANC continues, as in spite of Pravin Gordhan insisting that the government will slash unnecessary spending, North West Premier Thandi Modise bought herself a R1.3m beemer at our expense; and who can forget Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, who ranked-up over R50 000 on her government-issued credit card on fast food expenses within her first 10 weeks on the job. Let them eat cake I suppose.

6.) Blurred Lines of Party & State: It appears the ANC has forgotten one of the fundamental principles of a democracy of the separation between Party and State, as evident in the latest advertising campaign by the Gauteng Provincial Health Department, who have undertaken the commissioning of 51 Billboards throughout the province at the of cost of over R2m a month, touting their achievements over the past 20 years (although I don’t know how proud I would be of the fact of 50 000 abused women and children); yet instead of using their own established corporate identity colours of blue, gold & grey, decided to emblazon them with the trademark ANC green and gold in a clear subversion of state capture; and in doing so has essentially given the ANC free advertising using public funds. 

But the ANC has come out defending this action with NEC member Lindiwe Zulu saying: “the bottom line is this is an ANC government … we are in charge and are responsible at the end of the day”.

If you don’t grasp how serious of an issue this is, then you have no understanding of how a principled democracy should work.

Another example of blurred party/state lines occurred over the weekend when former Thabo Mbeki & current Sports Ministry staffer Ricardo Mackenzie was named on the DA’s election list and was immediately labelled as a “rat” and “DA mole” by Sports Minister Fikile Mbulula’s spokesman, going on to say that “trust has been irrevocably damaged and the ministry is reviewing its relationship with him” – so basically one cannot belong to the (supposed non-partisan) civil service unless you are aligned to the ANC, thus revealing their limited understanding of democratic principles and their true despotic nature.    

Almost done, I swear (this feels like I’m back at Uni doing an essay)

7.) ANC’s Arrogance & Disconnect with their Electorate: This comes after two statements made over the weekend by JZ and Water & Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. In the first instance Jacob Zuma said that the ruling party is “not in a hurry [to deliver services] because no one is going to rule but the ANC”; and in the second instance, Molewa said that the country’s water problems were small issues that can easily be fixed, this coming after her taking criticism for water shortages in the North West that has already left 4 people dead in service delivery protests.

These two statements sum up the disregard and trivialisation of their own supporters needs and lives and smacks of arrogance, yet they know they can do and say things like this as most of our country’s citizens are purely seen as election fodder and will continue to vote for the ANC out of blind loyalty, ignorance or spite.

Sorry for the long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one.

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