Self-inflicted ills threaten ANC political domination

ANC FLAGTSAKANI CHAUKE / SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA, (CAJ News) – WHILE it is headed for victory in the local government elections, the African National Congress (ANC) is facing its sternest test in post-independence South Africa as opposition parties eat into its stake.

Following an election preceded by controversy such as the so-called Nkandlagate where President Zuma was said to have unfairly benefitted from state funds at his rural home, the alleged influence of the beleaguered Gupta family on the government and ruling part, “tenderpreneurship” benefitting party cadres and the imposition of candidates in some key regions, the ANC has faced formidable opposition from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) during the polls held Wednesday.

ANC has lost the Nelson Mandela Bay to close rivals DA, which has come as an embarrassment as the city metropolitan is named after its late world famous member and ex- President Nelson Mandela. In a move seen as desperate, the ANC initially sought to challenge the outcome but rescinded the decision.

The EFF stands to be the “kingmaker” in the metropolitan administration.

DA also retained the city of Cape Town and Midvaal.

At the time of going to press and vote-counting underway, the chances of ANC holding onto Johannesburg, the country’s economic hub, and the capital Pretoria were under immense threat.

By Friday afternoon, in Pretoria, DA was leading with 46,52 percent, ANC at 40,1 percent while EFF had 9,29 percent of the votes.

In Johannesburg, the DA was again leading ANC with 43,34 percent, ANC slightly trailing 41,17 percent while EFF recorded 9,75 percent.

ANC has won comfortably in these areas during previous polls held since 1994.

The ruling party only found solace in the fact it was maintaining an overall lead at 54,45 percent, followed by DA with 26,19 percent while new kid on the bloc EFF recorded 7,94 percent.

The waning fortunes of the oldest liberation movement in the continent, founded in 1912, have been attributed to a string of controversies.

Hailed for liberating the country from Apartheid resulting in independence in 1994, the party has in recent times lurched from crisis to crisis, most linked to its leader Zuma.

Most recently, it emerged the Gupta family, an Indian-South African business family whose most notable members are the brothers Ajay, Atul, Rajesh Gupta as well as nephew Varun Gupta influenced cabinet appointments.

In March, the Constitutional Court bruised Zuma’s image when it ruled he failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution in the Nkandla scandal.

These issues not only enrage the opposition and the public but also caused divisions within the party.

ANC has met public anger as well as over the electronic tolling system and the imposition of Thoko Didiza as candidate for the capital city – Pretoria.

Supporters that have quit the party expressed their disgruntlement.

“We would like to teach ANC a lesson the party would never forget,” said Takalani Ndou of Mamelodi in Pretoria.

“We love our liberation party, which is ANC, but the level of corruption, corrupt relations with the Guptas, imposition of candidates as well as cadre deployment are the issues we hated our party for,” Ndou said.

Nkemeleng Mashishi of Atteridgeville, said, “ My children, husband and I belong to ANC but this time, we agreed as a family to donate our votes to either DA or EFF.”

As the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) continued to announce results, the likelihood of a coalition government in Gauteng province, the country’s economic hub cannot be ruled out, according to analysts.

Earlier on, ANC chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, said South Africans still trusted the ruling party.

“We are quite humbled and very happy that people of South Africa still trust the African National Congress. Of course we have had setbacks in areas like the Nelson Mandela Bay but we are magnanimous in victory and also magnanimous in defeat because we are democrats,” Mthembu said.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Aug 5 2016. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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