SA Electioneering Diary - 5 May
- Simon Williamson
- 05 May 2011 08:03 (South Africa)
The FF+ will be campaigning in Soweto. The ANC has turned its attention to Midvaal with a 20-person task team to investigate evictions of black people. Helen Zille thinks Pretoria will go down to the wire as the DA releases its "Cape Town Story" equivalent for everywhere else it governs. The SACP in Northern Cape denies it will support the DA, the IFP tries to hit out at eTV and the Dutch Reformed Church isn't happy that someone claimed Jesus was a communist. Even the UDM cracks a mention today! By SIMON WILLIAMSON.
The Sowetan claims the ANC in Midvaal will argue that the DA wants the area to remain white. The ANC has appointed a task team to investigate evictions of black people in the area and will take its findings to the Johannesburg High Court when complete. ANC task team spokesman Jeff Rademayer said, “You must understand that this [the evictions] is a conspiracy between the municipality, a private law firm run by André Odendaal [who is also chairman of the DA in Midvaal], law enforcement agencies and the courts.” Mayor of Midvaal, Timothy Nast, said the municipality was not directly involved with evictions and demolitions of houses. The ANC is not the first to accuse the DA of maladministration in the area. The Freedom Front Plus expressed reservations about leadership there in 2009, which included Odendaal.
Read more: Sowetan
The ANC hasn’t bitched about the media for a while so it was refreshing to hear its Gauteng branch claim the press had exaggerated the problems with ANC candidates lists. “The new approach to the list process, especially community involvement, has not received a fair assessment by the media," said provincial secretary David Makhura, although he admitted the problems with it had not affected Gauteng as much as other provinces. Makhura said the ANC had visited communities around the province to clarify “confusion and lies” spread by people who had left the party to stand as independents “who refuse to accept democracy”. Erm, in our book, standing as an independent is a high affirmation of a right provided by democracy.
Makhura also said the ANC was confident of winning Midvaal, along with most other Gauteng municipalities. He claimed ANC campaigning had reached 2 million people in the province since January and aims to be in contact with 500,000 a week until the election – which is only a week-and-a-half away.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu released a statement yesterday enquiring why the DA-run Midvaal municipality continued to sport a bust of Hendrik Verwoerd. Well, in fact he said “[it is] confirmation that the DA shares apartheid sentiments and philosophies, which for years racially polarised the South African society with black people having been at the receiving end of oppression, exploitation and institutionalised segregation.” Ryan Coetzee, DA strategist, informed me this morning the bust has been removed.
Read more: Politicsweb
The DA continues to push its election campaign based on how it governs. Yesterday it released its “Cape Town Story” equivalent called “Track Record of Delivery for All” for the other municipalities it runs: Baviaans (Eastern Cape), Midvaal (Gauteng), Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Swartland, and Theewaterskloof (all Western Cape). The document itself is too detailed to summarise here, but a link to it is provided below. James Selfe, chairman of the DA’s federal executive, said at the launch of the document “Our ‘Track Record of Delivery for All’ provides a consolidated record of our governance of municipalities outside of Cape Town - what we have done to improve services, building infrastructure, clampdown on crime and corruption and building open, accountable administrations that facilitate development, job creation and prosperity.”
The SACP in Northern Cape has denied a Business Day report yesterday which claimed its frustrated members in Britstown were backing the DA in the upcoming local government elections because of an ANC candidate they did not want. The SACP denied that the people quoted in Business Day are SACP members or that it had a branch committee in the Britstown area. It will be taking the matter up with the Press Ombudsman.
Yesterday we reported on ANC allegations of nepotism regarding Patricia de Lille, DA mayoral candidate for Cape Town. De Lille has called the allegations “baseless nonsense”. A spokesman for the ID, Lance Greyling, said, “This latest attack from the ANC shows a party in desperation and unable to engage the electorate on the issues that directly affect their lives.” Putting it down to sour grapes, Greyling said, “These allegations are frankly baseless nonsense and probably inspired by disaffected candidates who didn't make the list and crossed to the ANC.”
Zille, visiting Atteridgeville in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality yesterday told residents to stop protesting and use their vote. She told residents in Saulsville Hostel, “It’s no use to protest against the ANC’s broken promises in April and vote for the ANC in May.” And then, in case they didn’t quite get it, “It’s no good to vote for the ANC in May and protest in June.” Zille also claimed the DA and the ANC were neck-and-neck in the electoral race for the capital.
Read more: EWN
Cosatu in Northern Cape has released one of the most aggressive statements we have ever seen with criticism aimed squarely at the DA. Some snippets: “It is reported to the federation that there are some farmers ... in the NW who are intimidating workers, saying that if they go out to vote their work and housing are gone.” Or what about: “The killing of farm workers, farm dwellers and their families by white racist farmers is a clear picture that white racist political parties do not care about the condition of farm workers and their lives.” And to top it off: “DA leader Helen Zille today is able to call our leaders heroes of (the) struggle when some of them were killed by her own white racist friends.” It’s one thing being aggressive, as Cosatu statements often are. It is quite another releasing a statement which, in parts, must be considered defamatory.
Read more: Politicsweb
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission has ruled in favour of the IFP which complained about a report regarding a party rally on eTV. The IFP’s complaint specifically mentioned the quote: “The IFP has pulled out all the stops for the launch of its national election manifesto, but it failed to pull the crowd of 20,000 it had planned for.” The party claims it has never established a number of people expected and an IFP official was also not given an opportunity to respond in the broadcast. The BCCSA did, however, say it would be counterproductive to broadcast a correction, saying the context would be lost on the viewer. The IFP’s Albert Mncwango said, in response to the ruling, “Negative media coverage has always been par for the course for the IFP. We have over many years struggled against biased, negative reporting.”
IFP party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said yesterday all political parties in South Africa have failed in selecting candidates with the integrity required to run efficient municipalities, including the IFP who has also had its officials caught with their hands in the cookie jar. He claimed his party had worked harder this election to ensure the correct people were elected to local government roles.
Read more: Business Day
The Freedom Front Plus has obviously watched the DA campaign this election and also announced it is no longer a whites-only party. To prove this it said it will be campaigning in two Soweto wards. At the launch of the FF+’s election manifesto on 16 April, party leader Pieter Mulder said local government should be restructured as councillors in large municipalities often lived far away from the regions over which they governed. Well, the party’s candidate, Johannes Lubbe, contesting the Soweto wards lives 20km away in Roodepoort.
Read more: IOL
Bantu Holomisa, UDM leader, has commented on the defection of the high-profile (relative to the UDM) defection of Reverend Ximbi to the ANC over the weekend, saying that using an Apostolic Church service for political gain was wrong. Holomisa told members of the church he would be happy to facilitate a meeting between them and UDM leadership, although he also encouraged dissatisfied members to leave the Apostolic Church and find an alternative which suited them.
The Dutch Reformed Church yesterday expressed concern at the statement by a pastor at a Workers’ Day rally (at which Zuma was present) that Jesus was a communist and that the ANC, SACP and Cosatu were the Holy Trinity. Religion has been used as an electoral tool in recent times and the church said, “The latest incident in this regard, (is the one) in which a pastor ceremoniously anointed President Zuma and misused Rom. 13 in an irresponsible way to compel voters to support the ANC.”
The Black Sash, a human rights organisation founded during the apartheid era, has lambasted all political parties for not making sure the poor were assured of water, healthcare and food. It reviewed the policies of the ANC, DA, ACDP, IFP and UDM, but couldn’t review Cope’s as information could not be obtained from the party.
Read more: Sowetan
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has taken President Jacob Zuma to court, challenging a law which prohibits independent candidates from standing in provincial and national elections, as conflicting with the Bill of Rights. The claim was refuted by Zuma’s lawyer, Ishmael Semenya, who said the applicant wanted a different electoral system. “Unfortunately the Constitution has placed the power to determine an electoral system on the national assembly,” he said.
Read more: IOL
Photo: Supporters greet South African President Jacob Zuma (not in picture) as he campaigns in Richmond, 70 km (43 miles) east of Durban, May 3, 2011. South Africans will vote in municipal elections on May 18, 2011. REUTERS/Rogan Ward.