We are not ANC voting fodder
The electorate have become a political football there for the taking
GROWING up in Emdlebeni village in Stanger, we would make a soccer ball from the debris of bread plastics as buying the object in question was for those with deeper pockets.
And it happened that sometimes the one from the family who could afford to buy it was not that gifted in the beautiful game. So, come game time they would want to be featured on the starting line-up despite their lack of talent.
If you don’t put him in the starting line-up he goes home with his ball – and that would mean the end of the game. If the coach sacrifices the better player over the owner of the ball (ubholalami) the team might lose.
Some might be asking where am I going with this preamble. Well, I am not really talking about football, at least for now.
We all know it is almost voting season and all politicians are now spending sleepless nights fighting to win the upcoming elections.
To coincide with that, the ruling party, ANC is celebrating 107 years since its formation.
What tickled my fancy in the past few days was President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement in Pinetown where he told people that failing to keep the ANC in power would destroy the gains of freedom in the past 24 years. This was not the first time Ramaphosa has said something like this. When he was deputy president, he said if people did not vote for the ruling party “the Boers would come back to rule”.
To me, this was emotional blackmail to the voters, especially those who would be voting for the first time. Some people in the ruling party are good with emotional blackmail. The ANC of late does not need anyone to destroy the gains of democracy – they have been excelling in doing so.
They believe people should or would organically vote for their party simply because it is a liberation movement. One thinks people should vote for whatever party they believe would change their lives.
If they believe the ANC has been doing well, they should vote for them. But if other parties are the beacon of hope, they should be voted.
A critical assessment should be done by voters so that they make a right choice, otherwise, they remain voting cattle. All parties should earn votes. No party should be voted simply because they fought Verwoerd’s regime.
To me, that is not good enough. Like ubholalami, we were grateful that he was kind enough to let us use his ball but he had to earn making it to the starting line.
Being the ball owner did not mean that he was a great player. The same should be emphasised in politics.
Parties need to prove themselves to the voters that they will work for them. In Africa, in particular, complacency has been the order of the day in many countries for liberation movements.
The ruling party should learn from their counterparts in other countries, otherwise one day they will see themselves on the opposition benches in the national assembly if they think people will religiously vote them into power without scrutiny.