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Polling their weight — the mini-parties on executions, backdoor deals and the liquidation of the bourgeoisie

Polling their weight — the mini-parties on executions, backdoor deals and the liquidation of the bourgeoisie
Smaller political parties vie for a seat in government. (Illustration: AI)

With unknown parties having such widely differing ideals and plans, a few explanatory notes are necessary.

The 2024 general elections will be held on 29 May, so South African voters have a reasonable amount of time to familiarise themselves with the parties on the ballot – and there will be a lot of them. Something like 200, supposedly.

The Electoral Commission is just sorting out some last-minute problems, er, misunderstandings, parties that checked the wrong box, and so on, then we’ll be good to go.

You know what the ANC stands for (same old promises, same old failures – comforting, isn’t it?), what the DA stands for (ask Helen Zille, she’s the one who knows), the EFF (give us more money), and the uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party of KwaZulu-Natal (tribal leaders, tribal law, anything Big Chief Jacob Zuma says).

But what about the smaller parties? We begin here to round up those mini-parties, the ones likely to get no more than one or perhaps half a seat in Parliament, and to find out what they stand for, so that your puzzlement is reduced a bit when you’re faced with that 2m-long ballot paper on 29 May.

Muslim Law Party

We have no specific policies on the economy, except that there will be no lending of money with interest. We are informed that this will collapse the banks, the housing market, and all other forms of capital expansion, but so what?

At least the economy will then be as pure as the driven snow, and we’re sure that Gift of the Givers will come to our rescue if and when everyone descends into poverty and starvation.

We have no policy on political power, really, except that Allah will be in charge, through the medium of his mullahs, who will wear special party-branded turbans to mark them out as the chosen of Allah and, indeed, when we get some votes, of the people.

We also intend to change the Constitution so that we can persecute and hopefully execute all homosexuals, but that’s a battle for another day. Salaam.

Christian Conservatives Party

God is the leader of our party, and our office bearers are his representatives on Earth, with a direct and secure line to the Almighty. So you better do what they tell you.

If you don’t, God will rain fire upon the Republic of South Africa, and we don’t want that, do we? We’ve just survived a major heat wave, after all.

We will outlaw abortion and same-sex marriage. We will rewrite the Constitution in terms of our reading of the Bible, which tends to be very literalist unless we want to view something as symbolic.

We will ensure that all schools have daily prayer sessions and Bible study lessons, and we will put a stop to teenage pregnancies, using exile and executions if necessary.

We will surely get many members elected to Parliament because this is a Christian nation, and then our holy work can begin. Let us pray.

The Minor Gangsters Party

Yes, we were advised to focus on local government – see how successful Kenny Kunene and those other gangsters have been in the Gauteng government, and Gauteng is the powerhouse of South Africa!

We are not going to take that advice, however, even though it came from an important figure in the ruling party who is now fighting for his political life in a massive corruption court case, so he knows this terrain well.

We have even less policy than the MK party, but at least we’re not tribalists, and we will be dedicated to ripping off as many provincial governments as we can get into.

There, we will enter into coalitions with the other gangster parties, whether they admit that they’re gangsters or not. This can be done behind closed doors, of course. We like backdoor deals as much as Paul Mashatile does.

We don’t expect a national victory, but we won’t allow that to stop us. We will forge ahead with determination, ensuring that wherever we get into power we’ll simply loot the state coffers and probably all retire to Barbados or wherever there’s no extradition treaty with South Africa. They say voters won’t vote with a gun to their heads, but we aim to change all that. Wish us luck!

The Ultra-Socialist Proletarian and Precariat Party

We will nationalise everything, from the mines to the toothbrush in your bathroom. Everything in South Africa belongs to the people of South Africa, as represented by us – the vanguard of the revolutionary masses.

We will liquidate the bourgeoisie and seize its assets. That means Cyril loses his billions, which will be used for something useful, and ordinary people will lose what little they have, but it will all be for the common good. Or the nearly common good – we won’t be doing any good for our billionaires, for instance. We just hope we catch them and empty their bank accounts before they flee to the perfidious West with their ill-gotten gains.

Read more in Daily Maverick: 2024 elections

The whole nation will be on welfare, as handed out by the state, and we will run that system with an iron fist. No more Bathabile Dlamini equivocations or secret deals with hypercapitalist Finanzkapital! Taxes will be abolished, because there will be no income or company profits to tax.

We will encourage the people to develop vegetable gardens so that they don’t starve when the state runs out of money and can’t sell any more assets to China. If they do starve, it will be for the overall good of the nation and progress towards Utopia. Fewer but better!

The Capitalist Progress Party

We want progress. And by that we mean progress towards a pumpin’ capitalist economy in which a rising tide lifts all boats, even those with holes in them.

We believe in making the rich richer so that they can trickle some of their wealth (0.0001% or so) to the poorest of the poor, although we regard those who are poor as responsible for their poverty. It is purely out of the goodness of the hearts of those we will enrich that the poor will get anything at all.

We will externalise all costs (fuck the environment) and depress wages, which will surely get the economy growing again. Poor people’s consequent lack of spending power will be compensated for by the ultra-rich, who will pump billions into the economy by purchasing yachts, mansions in Clifton, and a great deal of vastly overpriced jewellery.

We will allow the rich to export their riches, moving them to less-regulated jurisdictions. If that makes the bulk of South Africans poorer, that’s OK. It will surely enhance our relationship with the Swiss banks, and that’s what our oligarchs want. They are very generously funding us, so they get what they want. We will not be excluded from the global financial economy!

The Dagga Party Redux

Huh? There’s an election? DM

Shaun de Waal is a writer and editor.

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.


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