Could it be? South African politicians for once agree on something

2019-01-27 19:01
IEC. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

IEC. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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For once South African politicians had the same message as they called on South Africans to vote. 

Some politicians even sought the help of a higher hand in this mission.

EFF leader Julius Malema attended a church service at the Apostolic Faith Mission River of Life in Soshanguve.

"We asked the church that they must pray for peaceful elections, that there shouldn't be a drop of blood, because of the elections," said the EFF's "commander in chief".

"People must have the right to choose the government of their choice without any form of intimidation. People must be allowed to exercise their democratic right without being threatened that if they don't choose a particular party, they will lose the benefits that come from government."

Malema said the pastor's sermon carried the message that they must learn to forgive.

"I was saying to the pastor that we have even forgiven Zuma because of the sermon. So Zuma must thank the pastor because we got wisdom from the pastor."

ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile also visited a church on Sunday morning, the Revelations Church of God in Joubert Park, Johannesburg.

"Our message was simple: We're reminding everybody to go and register so that they are able to vote when we have the elections in May. 

"And of course, we have indicated, as the ANC we are willing to work with the church in partnership to address community development."

DA leader Mmusi Maimane went to check that he and his parents are registered at his hometown of Dobsonville, Soweto, at the Presbyterian Church. 

"I want to urge all South Africans to come out today, it is the final day, to come and register to vote, because we want to build this South Africa," Maimane said. "We want to build a country where all citizens can stand together, build one nation and show that ultimately we can create jobs for our citizens, make sure our people have a job in every home. 

"And this is the future of our nation. I want to urge young people – today is your day – this is the day not for them to talk about their tomorrow only, but to talk about their today. Young people are unemployed and I want to urge all of them to come out and vote, like I have."

Maimane later in the day changed his blue shirt for a pink one, as he and other DA-leaders in the Gauteng headed off to the Wanderers, where South Africa is taking on Pakistan in a one day international cricket match, where they would also urge people to register to vote amid the clunk of leather on willow. 

In Cape Town to erstwhile foes within the ANC, former provincial chairpersons Ebrahim Rasool and Mcebisi Skwatsha smoked the peace pipe and canvassed potential voters together in Mfuleni. 

"Our comrades on the ground want to see unity," said Rasool, the ANC's election campaign manager in the Western Cape. "They want unity in our leadership. Our people want us to unite because the DA is imploding. If we’re together everyone else can be together."

Skwatsha said their coming together speaks into renewal. 

"We will have total unity. We have an inspiring leader in ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to really deliver a better life for all," the deputy minister of rural development and land reform said. 

The division in the Western Cape ANC at the height of their rivalry has been viewed by many Capetonian politicoes as a contributing factor to the DA taking the province in 2009.

But Skwatsha thinks it is not a pipedream that the ANC can return to power in the province after the election. 

"I'm very optimistic about what is going to happen in the general election. We are doing very fairly well. We are going to make our mark."

Meanwhile, according to DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi, the DA and ANC were "neck-and-neck" in what is expected to be the hotly contested Gauteng at around 14:00 on Sunday, with three hours of registration left.

"This once again proves that the people of Gauteng are sick and tired of the ANC’s corruption and empty promises," Malatsi said in a statement.

Some politicians were still willing to forego partisanship, albeit probably only for one day.

Minister of Public Service and Administration Ayando Dlodlo was campaigning in Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape where she spotted members of the ANC, DA, ATM and Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) "in song and in peaceful harmony" together, and tweeted a video. 

"This is democracy in action. Let us Grow South Africa Together," she tweeted. 

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  elections 2019

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