Media, Politics

SA Electioneering Diary: 20 April

By Andy Rice 20 April 2011

Conspiracies are everywhere and do their best to derail the ANC and Cope. The DA wants to shake off smaller parties and govern alone in Beaufort West, while the ACDP accuses the DA of taking all the credit for Cape Town. Solidarity will not be backing any political party.


The ANC believes the current Pikitup strike by South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) members, which is turning Johannesburg into a centre of pestilence, is nothing more than a conspiracy to sabotage its election campaign. Dumisa Ntuli, spokesman for the governing party, also said trashing of streets, destruction of property and attacks on non-protesters were of grave concern. Samwu, naturally, denied this, saying, “Shifting goal posts in negotiations has been the strategy of the employer. All the union’s strikes and campaigns are based on genuine worker concerns and have nothing to do with election politics.” In a nutshell, Joburg will be stinking and attracting rats for a bit longer.

The South African Students Congress (Sasco), speaking at the North West University campus in Mahikeng yesterday, blasted the ANC for neglecting them, which led to the student body losing the SRC elections. ANC provincial chairman, Supra Mahumapelo, admitted the party had ignored Sasco, but swore this would change in the future. Sasco was told to get more involved in its community and demand that leaders interact with the congress, and this is a direct quote, “because we want to transform civil servants from being technocrats to revocrats”.

Reda more: The New Age

The ANC Youth League will be returning to the homestead of Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to campaign, branding the long-serving leader as “intolerant” after the aborted attempt last week due to possible violence. The League denies police stopped them entering the homestead last time and said they made the decision themselves. Provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said, “We felt it was best to protect the progressive members of our movement than to expose them to the IFP warlords who know nothing, but to worship Buthelezi as their mini-God.” Outside the usual rhetoric, the ANCYL may have a point as provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said, “The IFP supporters had violated the electoral code of conduct, which stipulates that nobody should ‘prevent any persons from gaining reasonable access to voters…’

Read more: The Sowetan

Congress of the People

After the departure yesterday of three Cope members who returned to the ANC, Cope-Lekota released the usual diatribe about how it was the first honest thing they had done in a long time, were of the Cope-Shilowa faction and were part of a campaign to destroy the party. Said Cope-Lekota spokesman Philip Dexter, “These individuals formed part of the core of the self-styled ‘Shilowa Express’ who have waged a sustained campaign from within the party to destroy it.” One of the defectors was Hlomla Dandala, son of Cope’s 2009 presidential candidate Mvume Dandala.

It seems highly unlikely, but there is speculation the ANC may welcome Mbhazima Shilowa back into the party. Shilowa is supported by half of Cope’s members who will probably not vote for Cope while Lekota is leading the party – naturally, he would probably bring his supporters across to the ANC. Shilowa, however, has denied that he plans to do any such thing.

Read more: Business Day

African Christian Democratic Party

ACDP Youth Federation chairman, Lusani Malaudzi, has accused the DA of ignoring the role played by smaller parties in the coalition government which took over Cape Town in 2006. In the run-up to 18 May, the DA has used “The Cape Town Story” as one of its principal electioneering strategies. The DA won the most seats, with 90 of the 210 available, and allied itself with nine other small parties, including the ACDP, FF+ and PAC to defeat the ANC, resulting in Helen Zille being elected mayor. (On a side note, Patricia de Lille’s party, the Independent Democrats – who were actually independent then – voted along with the ANC that day. The irony is noted.)

Read more: TimesLIVE


The DA hopes to shake off smaller parties and govern Beaufort West alone in what it sees as a key area in the Western Cape. Currently the DA and the ANC have four members each on the town council, but the DA is in partnership two other smaller entities and therefore governs.

Read more: EWN


The trade union, Solidarity, will not be endorsing any political party in the run up to the election and says it wants its members to vote for the party of their choice (you know, as is enshrined in the constitution anyway). However, CEO Flip Buys, says the union will be announcing its expectations of political parties before the election. 

The New York Times covers recent South African news including admission to the BRICS, Sicelo Shiceka, Andries Tatane and local elections.

One-hundred-and-thirty-seven people have been arrested due to election-related violence in KwaZulu-Natal since February. The community safety and liaison department will be setting up a team to “ensure tolerance” in volatile zones including Estcourt, Nongoma, Ulundi and Durban.

Read more: East Coast Radio News Watch

Photo: Supporters of ruling African National Congress President Jacob Zuma celebrate victory in South Africa’s 2009 elections on the streets of Durban, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings.


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Note from the Editor

Democracy in Africa? What democracy in Africa?

By Branko Brkic

"Let no-one enter here who is ignorant of mathematics" ~ Plato