Julius - The Love Story

2016-08-07 13:32

Three-year-old political party seeks mature and experienced mate for a long term mutually beneficial “friendship.” If avoiding the potholes on a midnight stroll down Louis Botha Avenue is your idea of romance, if the roar of the Pikitup collection trucks revs your engine, if candle lit cold dinners makes you shiver then the ANC is your partner of choice.

Sunday August 7th and the political landscape has shifted in South Africa. It might not yet officially be Spring but the blossoms of hope, thought dead for some years, are starting to show signs that they might have just been dormant. The people of the country have voted and they have sent a very clear message to the ANC. They are not wanted, they are not trusted and that the citizens of the country deserve better.

It is now it is up to the other parties to hear them.

With no clear leadership in Johannesburg or Tshwane either the DA or the ANC will need to form a coalition to take control of these cities. If the will of the people is to be respected this means that the ANC cannot be allowed to form a coalition that would award them control once again. They were thrown out of the front door and cannot be allowed in through the back. Even if they are most charming.

In all this, the EFF, with around 10% of the votes, has become the King maker. His party in effect gets to choose who will govern these cities for the next 5 years. And he needs to very carefully weigh up how it will impact not only the people of the country but also on the party he has fought so hard to establish. His decision is not to be taken lightly and the responsibility that he holds is enormous.

He will also need to consider his prior relationship with the ANC and with President Jacob Zuma himself. There is little doubt that the “Charm offensive”, the apologies, the promises of greatness and the assurance that the past is the past will become pressure in of itself, as will the hints and pledges of new leadership within the ANC. There is little doubt that at this hour of desperation and of failure that the ANC will say what they have to take back the metros that they have squandered.

Julius Malema would be making a grave error if he were to succumb to the advances of the ANC. His party will lose its identity, he will have let his supporters down and will no doubt be considered a “Sell out.”

Contrast that with an alliance with the DA and his decision should be obvious. With little risk of an identity loss, the EFF, a young inexperienced party will be able to gain much from the maturity of the DA. So different are the parties that stands little chance of losing his supporters to them. He will have the opportunity to grow his distinctiveness, placing him in a much stronger position for the next election.

The DA would profit not only from the obvious seats it would gain and the ability to govern (with 2 seats still required) but would benefit also from the charisma of the EFF – something that DA has historically lacked. An alliance with the EFF would also further endorse the assertion that the DA is not a “White” party.

The dating game is going to be an interesting one. Netflorist is going to be busy and the whispers are going to be deafening. It’s going to be a week of gossip and rumors and false speculation. Of conjecture and of intrigue. It's going to be riveting. And I intend enjoying every minute.

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