Why a vote for the ANC is a vote for more of the same

Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane warns voters that Ace Magashule will be the one calling the shots after the elections on May 8 if they vote for the ANC, rather than President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane warns voters that Ace Magashule will be the one calling the shots after the elections on May 8 if they vote for the ANC, rather than President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Masi Losi

A great danger that threatens any election the world over is having an unfit political party or candidate winning at the ballot.

However democratic the process may be, the undesirable outcome contaminates the good intentions of voters and drowns the country's potential.

Our northern neighbour, Zimbabwe, provides a classic example that is close to home. On Monday, July 30 2018, voters went to the ballot box with a simple question in their minds: Do they put an X next to the proverbial devil they know - with its new leader - or do they give the formidable opposition a chance to prove itself?

Overwhelmed by a false sense of security, they opted for the former. And just a few months after the election, Zanu-PF inevitably showed its true colours.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who they thought would be different from his Zanu-PF predecessor Robert Mugabe, proved to be a different side of the same coin. In this instance, the coin was the political party that liberated them but had turned to be self-serving.

A different side was the new man at the helm, trapped by the same party constraints of factionalism, corruption and maladministration that had taken firm hold of the former liberation movement.

Long before the ink dried on the oath of office that Mnangagwa signed, the police were already beating up their own citizens.

All political dissent was violently quashed. Film screenings depicting his questionable past were shut down. The new president was now not new at all. He was simply a new driver of the same old, broken bus.

This story is all too similar to the one that is about to unfold in SA. It's the same script, but with a different cast.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, the 'new' guy who is not new at all, is heavily under the spell of party machinations that have allowed corruption to thrive under its watch.

Mr "I'm shocked" lacks a backbone to stand up to those in his party and in government.

Corruption ensues, with not a single person been arrested for wrongdoing. His party's lists read like a list of most wanted criminals.

Many South Africans are under the false assumption that Ramaphosa will bring about change in the country, yet he can't even change furniture in Luthuli House.

His son is facing serious allegations of corruption, just like the son of Jacob Zuma. He received money for his campaign from a dubious company just as his predecessor did. The patterns are the same, and reveal the very DNA of the ANC.

His cold relationship with his often lost deputy could see him on the wrong side of an influential faction of his party after the elections.

This will weaken him more than he currently is. Post May 8, he will only be a sitting duck waiting as Ace Magashule and the team will be calling the shots. I pity SA if it chooses this man.

Fortunately, voters are seeing through this false dawn. SA faces a clear choice at the ballot box on May 8 - a choice between more of the same from the ANC, or the DA's agenda to bring change, restore order and build One South Africa for All.

That is what democracy offers SA. It is now up to South Africans to bring this change.

*Maimane is the leader of the DA

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