Am I crazy for voting for the ANC - the lesser of three evils?

2016-08-03 09:36

I can be apathetic especially when it comes to political parties that ignore villages for years, and return only during campaign period to steal votes off of our dusty streets. In the lead up to the last elections, I convinced myself to vote for the DA, this was before the EFF, as the only other better evil on the ballot box. I openly harassed anyone who cared to listen about my dissatisfaction – emphasise that to anger – with the ANC and how I am going to break their lies and power-hold with my sacred vote.

As I entered the ballot station at Ratlhahana High School in the dusty village of Pankop, something natural – no not guilt – happened. I felt a tremendous doubt and fear to invest my trust in a new evil. As the ballot paper screamed back at me, all those electioneering slogans and promises rang loudly in my head, ‘Vote DA’, ‘Viva ANC, Viva’ and many other also-rans noises, I did what many other people do in secret. I stuck with the old evil. The devil that I know. The ANC, or khongolose as many party-committed old people affectionately call it – it delivered them from the dompas that was institutionalised by the National Party (I wonder which party was the National Party). Hence in many areas across our beloved country the liberating party remains in the majority.

To me, the ANC is like the lover I want to shame by dumping them. But the options out there, the other evils, are waiting ready to do the exact, if not worse, job of screwing me and many villagers over. And I am not the type to go test the waters, and come back after realising that there is no better lover. Only a lover that you keep smooching and cajoling towards a certain direction and behavior that you desire.

The future-ANC, with more newer and younger leadership, might eventually get to be a better lover and less corrupt – but corrupt it will always be as politics is politics after all. So is the EFF, the DA and the also-rans, shindigs of corruption with many hands at the honey pot in the name rewarding electioneers.

The ANC has 22-years experience, bar the struggle period, on how to do good and evil and then still keep the country together. Compared to almost all African countries, we enjoy the best fruits of a working democracy, despite the terrifying shortcomings of many office bearers.

During the ANC’s rule, excuse the pun, the country has not gone to war nor used war rhetoric – if you minus mainly uMshini Wam and utterances by the ANCYL that use to really do its work.

The EFF, like a teenager with a gun in hand, is very trigger-happy in its rhetoric. And those fighters were my solid choice leading up to yesterday.

The DA, well, has a terrible and ugly past and most of its closet remains locked and dark. Its poster-boy is probably remote-controlled from Stellenbosch. I do not think they can even start to address racism in South Africa. And frankly, I doubt it would manage to keep the country together, especially in areas where the community is largely black. The also-rans, well, let them keep running, their participation adds to the entertainment and LOLs.

Am I crazy to vote for the ANC while Nkandla stands grand and tall on the hills of Kwazulu-Natal, and comrades lap it out in ultra-luxury financed from tender-handouts? While the party is virtually saying to the poor, Let them eat cake? No. I am not mad or illiterate. I know I should not vote for them. But trust me to not trust a new evil. The barrel of a gun might take aim, may be even fire from that other part that I love but cannot trust to invest in. The country might burn, literally with agriculture completely scortched out and poor farmworkers out of their much-needed jobs. The villagers will pay the ultimate price, no food on the table and hyper-inflation the likes of Zimbabwe.

Instead of apathy and staying-out my vote though, I will celebrate my freedom that was won with blood by both ANC and other organisations and uknown heroes.

Although in despair and with clenched teeth, I will give the ANC yet another chance, to screw me over or give me a reason to not think I am a madman.

Izz Mlambo is a communications manager. He writes in his personal capacity.

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