SA Electioneering Diary - 3 May
The ANC spread itself all across the country, with a huge focus in Western Cape, as its election plans finally click into gear. The DA pushed its promise to create jobs, while the IFP is set to go public with all the ANC's dirty tricks. And remember Hassan Motala? Well he's changed parties...again. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.
The ANC has welcomed a glut of UDM, ID and DA officials into its ranks in Western Cape. For some reason, the venue for this mass defection was a church service at the Cape of Good Hope Centre. By our count, 13 from the UDM joined the ANC and four from the DA/ID, although the ANC said in a statement that 20 others had also joined. The UDM confirmed officials had crossed over, including Reverend Ximbi who was its Western Cape chairman, but said a vote of no confidence in his leadership last year, due to his support for the unenclosed Makhaza toilets, and his failure to be nominated for the municipal elections this year may be the reason. “We, therefore, regard his defection to the ANC a non-event; in fact, it's good riddance!”
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, addressing a crowd in Atteridgeville in Pretoria yesterday, said the ANC had failed its people. She then told the 3,000 people watching her to vote for the ANC in the upcoming municipal elections anyway.
Read more: IOL
Cosatu and the Young Communists League have welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s statement that there will be an investigation into the ANC’s elections lists balls-up. Both organisations also confirmed their support for the ANC in the upcoming elections. (Starting to see a theme here...)
The SACP’s May Day statement lambasted the DA and continued its assault on DA leadership: “It [the DA] is trying to project a non-racial image - with that serial opportunist De Lille and a born-free, Model C-school and the boss lady. Two stooges and a madam.” The SACP warned in its statement the DA was not just another party which would fade overnight. “We should not take them lightly. They are not the UDM, nor the ID, nor Cope - they have money, they have media support.”
Read more: Politicsweb
A ferocious political fight is expected in the Umhlatuze (Richards Bay, Empangeni) municipality, come 18 May as the council has been decided by coalitions, alliances and floor-crossing since the inception of local government in 1996. Both the ANC and the IFP have ruled the region with tiny margins, and both expect to win the municipality, which is KZN’s second wealthiest after eThekwini.
Malusi Gigaba, minister of public enterprises, was in Murumuru (near Hillcrest, KZN) over the weekend and admitted that unemployment and housing were the common problems. Gigaba told Sapa that a site for housing had been prepared, but had been delayed while an environmental assessment study was carried out.
The ANC continued to take the fight to the IFP as the party was once again present in Nkonjeni, the village of IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Security was reportedly very tight on Saturday when ANC and IFP members were present, but there were no reports of clashes.
Zuma told residents in Gugulethu on Saturday that they should vote ANC to deal with poverty and housing problems. Unsurprisingly, he was backed up by ANC mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich and Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman.
Zuma will be campaigning in KZN today. See him at the Rotary Sports Ground in KwaMashu at 10:30, a mini-rally in Sweetwaters at 14:00 (no venue specified) and in Richmond at 16:00 (again, no venue specified).
Cosatu, while campaigning in Pietermaritzburg, said any vote that was not for the ANC amounted to a vote for the DA. “No amount of sweet-talk should blind people to the reality that the DA would take us back to the days of apartheid,” said provincial chariman Chris Ndlela, who is expected to be ANC mayoral candidate for the Msunduzi municipality.
Zandspruit residents, the folks who have been periodically blocking up Beyers Naude Drive with burning tyres in the last few weeks, want their ward councillor, Maureen Schneeman, to step down. Local MEC, Humphrey Mmemezi has rejected this, saying Schneeman had the full backing of the Gauteng local government. We’d find a different route to work if you live around there.
Read more: EWN
Jack Bloom, DA leader in the Gauteng legislature, has drawn parallels with the ANC refusing to reveal its candidates and “Broomstick Nats”, those NP candidates for whom people repeatedly voted under apartheid, in spite of the PFP having had better-qualified candidates.
Read more: Politicsweb
During a Workers’ Day rally in Port Elizabeth, Helen Zille said her party was creating jobs: “A job is the only sustainable way out of poverty. It is a step on the ladder towards dignity and prosperity. That is why job creation is the DA's number-one priority. All our policies in the places we govern - whether it's a province, a city or a town - are designed to make it easier to get a job and easier to create a job.” Zille also said a R5 million programme would be started in Cape Town to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs, creating jobs.
Read more: Politicsweb
On Tuesday, Helen Zille is scheduled to campaign in Saldhana and surrounding areas where she will discuss the DA’s plans to create jobs and encourage investment. She will probably travel there in the DA’s shiny new election bus.
IFP leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has predicted a short life for the National Freedom Party, a breakaway started by Zanele Mgwaza-Msibi, frustrated by the stagnancy of IFP policy. Buthelezi says defectors who joined her will expect to be rewarded with high positions, but, “There just aren't enough positions to go around in political parties. A party that is all leaders and no followers always ends up imploding.” With a log sticking firmly out of his eye, Buthelezi said it would not be wise to vote for the NFP as its internal struggles would affect service delivery.
The IFP has called a press conference at 10:00 where it claims it will uncover the dirty tricks used by the ANC in Ward 23 in eThekwini. Jayraj Bachu, a long-serving ANC member, has left the party and will be standing for the IFP on 18 May. Due to his experiences with the ANC he reportedly learnt everything the party does and will tell all today.
Buthelezi, in another appearance over the weekend, lashed out at influences undoing the IFP’s work in the Okahlamba municipality it rules. He claimed that greed had compromised democratically elected candidates and the IFP’s reputation had suffered as a result, although he expected to retain the municipality in the forthcoming elections.
This is officially the strangest story in the entire election collective. Remember Hassan Motala, the guy we thought defected from the IFP to the ANC, but then on Monday denied it (while sitting next to Mangosuthu Buthelezi, nogal) and said he was an IFP man? Well, he has now denied his second round of statements to the media and said he indeed is a member of the ANC, which is confirmed by the ANC. So who the hell knows? Good luck voting in KZN.
Read more: Sowetan
The Freedom Front Plus has demanded a review of taxes on petrol following the latest hike of 29c a litre. Party spokesman Anton Alberts expressed concern with more electricity hikes and tollgate tariffs due this year . The party suggested the fuel levy be lowered and price competition regarding petrol be allowed, as is the case with diesel.
The Cape Party, those folks who want Western Cape to become its own country, has gone a step further than the FF+ and demanded that the fuel levy be abolished.
A ward candidate from Illovo, south of Durban, has been arrested by the Hawks for conspiring to murder another candidate. The unnamed suspect allegedly lent a hitman a .38 firearm and was arrested with the hitman en route to kill the intended victim. You’ll know more details when we do.
On 26 April we expressed sarcastic surprise at the DA’s mayoral candidate for Durban’s plan to reduce crime in the city by creating “a specialised crime fighting unit” which sounded to us like a blatantly obvious solution. Warwick Chapman, a DA councillor in eThekwini, corrected us this morning, pointing out that municipal/metro police forces were actually responsible for enforcing by-laws and traffic laws, although there was provision for them to fight crime too (which is the national police force’s responsibility).
What has become known as the “Makhaza Open Toilets Saga” concluded on Friday when Judge Nathan Erasmus said the City of Cape Town had violated citizens’ Constitutional right to dignity by not enclosing toilets it built for the community last year. Of the 1,316 toilets, residents enclosed 1,265. The ANC Youth League lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission when the story broke, and the DA responded by enclosing the rest of the toilets with corrugated iron - which were subsequently broken down by the Youth League which demanded proper structures. The DA then removed all the open toilets. Read the full judgment at PoliticsWeb.
The City of Cape Town said it would abide by the judgment, but maintained that its actions “throughout this matter were a genuine and bona fide attempt to upgrade and improve the sanitation facilities of this impoverished community”.
Helen Zille said that was because communal toilets impinge on people’s right to dignity the DA-led council sought to extend sanitation coverage to all residents. She also said she accepted the finding of the courts and that the city would “move forward and continue upgrading informal settlements, within the limits of the national housing code”.
The South African Communist Party claimed the judgment exposed the DA “for its lack of moral authority on its track record of governance and delivery to our people”.
The ANC Youth League said it “is proud that the DA government is now exposed by our Courts of Law because of the struggles that were started by our members and structures in the Western Cape. The ANC Youth League is now more inspired to fight harder against the DA until the ANC reclaims the City of Cape Town.” After the judgment, Julius Malema was seen hanging up an ANC election poster outside Leeuwenhof, the premier of the Western Cape’s official residence.
The ANC said, “We have always called on DA leader Helen Zille to climb down from her high horse and clean up her backyard in the Western Cape before venturing into unwarranted attacks on the progressive leadership of the ANC, with a track record of building better communities in South Africa.”
As happens in politics all over the world, there were calls for heads to roll. Marius Fransman, the ANC’s leader in Western Cape, said, “Helen Zille was the mayor of Cape Town when these open toilets ‘with a view' were built. As Western Cape premier she came out guns blazing in defence of the illegal, undignified and unenclosed toilets.” He followed up later in the statement with “Zille in a statement on behalf of her party unconditionally accepted the court's ruling. She must now accept the inevitable and without delay resign from public office and life.” DM
Photo: Supporters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and President Jacob Zuma demonstrate against the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) outside a court in Cape Town April 29, 2011. South Africa goes to the polls on May 18, 2011 to elect local government representatives. The Western Cape is the only province in South Africa that is not controlled by the ANC. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings.