Bheki Mashile's Letter from Umjindi

Vote rote. In the swing


My my my, DA, why do you consistently miss the boat when it comes to contesting elections, especially

local elections? Your posters call for “change”. Change from what? ANC this, ANC that, and of course now, change from the fiasco that has been created by Zuma and his Gupta shenanigans and the crème de la crème presented by the Constitutional Court judgment on Nkandla?

Unfortunately, these matters can safely be categorised as national issues. And besides, when it comes to the Constitutional Court judgment, I’m afraid it is Juju and his little red berets who will reap any benefits. Alas, the man on the street is still more concerned about bread and butter issues – particularly drugs and the extremely violent youth gangs terrorising nearly every township in the country.  

These two problems have been publicised very well by television news programmes such as Special Assignment. Watch these, DA, so you can learn what communities are dealing with, if you want their vote. Clearly your black members who live in the townships are failing, or are not being listened to regarding problems faced in our communities.

You made a bugger-up of the action against amalgamation of municipalities. Your concerns were political – ward demarcations – rather than looking at the municipalities separately. As a result, you lost. Stop aiming to rule the country and instead look at what the DA can do for the people. Then, maybe at some point you might win them over so you can rule the country. 

Now, why would I, a staunch ANC supporter, care that you DA bunch are missing the boat? Well, because my loyalty to the ANC is strictly confined to national elections. Sorry, I simply do not trust that if you led the country you would maintain the progressive programmes necessary to undo past imbalances: BEE, land reform etc.

I consider myself a swing-voter when it comes to my local interests and the wellbeing of my community. As we know, local government under ANC councillors has been a dismal failure in too many municipalities, and a headache for the ruling party. 

Why should I care, as a staunch ANC supporter? Well, thanks to the Sunday Times of 3 April for its article, “Big Brother joins Mother City crime arsenal”. What a brilliant crime- fighting initiative! All Mzansi could use such measures – and people such as Cape Town’s mayoral committee member JP Smith.

With these factors in mind, the DA is not convincing me and millions of others as to what it is going to do for my community and municipality. Stop telling us about national issues. Those are already being handled, thanks to you DA, EFF (which I hate with a passion because of their radical approach – but, great job on the Nkandla matter) and of course other organisations such as Corruption Watch – and let me not forget my no-fear, no-favour colleagues in the media.  

A Noseweek reader has written: “For so many years you have been rambling on and complaining about these morons but you still want to vote for them. They need a wake-up call”.

Well, do not think that the man on the ground is not fed up with Zuma and his shenanigans. The Constitutional Court judgment has given the ANC a wake-up call. And unless the DA can assure the electorate that it is committed to maintaining and continuing with those progressive programmes designed to undo past imbalances, there is no way I can vote for them. And that is despite the fact that I would love to see two strong parties in this country, like in the USA.

DA, once again, when your local elections campaigning goes full steam ahead, talk to me and my fellow countrymen and please don’t tell us about this “register/vote for change” bullshit, it’s not working or convincing in any way. Rather tell us what you are going to do for us locally. I think you guys could use an Eli, the campaign manager character on the television drama The Good Wife.

The best thing that has happened regarding your local elections campaigning is the article in the Sunday Times. Because of that, when I go into the booth there will be two deciding factors: what you are doing with this crime-fighting initiative in Cape Town, and my respect and admiration for your councillors here in Umjindi – Elsabe Jacobs and Philip Minnaar – who I find to be highly committed people in serving their community. Man, those two will go out of their way for the community. I certainly cannot say the same for our ANC council idiots.

Yes, I think I’ve been swung, but only locally. Nationally, forget it. Not as long as you have anti-BEE idiots like Black Like Me founder Herman Mashaba in your ranks. Black like me! He is certainly not like me. Who next? Sushi king Kunene? Stop recruiting idiots to boost your ranks. It is only hurting you, DA. 

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