A decomposing potato!

Is this a decomposing potato, ask our columnist Maruping Phepheng, following the Municipal Elections recently? The multimillion rand question is posed to the ruling party ANC that has lost major Metropolitans.

I also wanted to offer an opinion – no, perhaps to ask a few questions on how so many Blacks would have voted the DA in the last local government elections.

My understanding, the one understanding that I hear almost consistently when listening to talk shows or reading pieces written by a lot of Blacks, an understanding that is perhaps a little stale, is that Blacks generally see the DA as a party meant to preserve white supremacy and white monopoly capital.

The narrative doing the rounds among some Blacks goes something like ‘to vote the DA is to return apartheid.’

So I wanted to express my surprise at the turn of events, and to put forward an argument that Blacks are lost, if it is the DA that they see as a vehicle ready and willing to return their land, and to create employment, and to do away with the bucket system, and to provide proper health care, and close potholes and to fix dead street lights in Black communities.

Essentially, I wanted to ask how we can possibly imagine that a party generally (mis?)understood to exist solely to preserve whiteness can also benefit Blacks.

But the people in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Johannesburg, and even Ekurhuleni seem to believe that the DA is not a party imagined above.

They spoke through the ballot, saying the DA will give them all the wonderful things they had hoped for in the last twenty years … jobs, quality healthcare, clean water, roads, etc.

Some, a little more than two million of them country-wide, believe that the time has come for the EFF to lead the way to Nationalisation and the return of land to Blacks without compensation, including control of the economy by a pro-Black government.

A lot more people than before seem to think the task of confronting the famous ‘triple challenges’ –unemployment, poverty and inequality – is now safe in the hands of others, not the ANC.

But why is it that people are turning to other parties to deliver what the former liberation movement as a matter of course supposed to deliver?

What has gone so terribly wrong with the once mighty ANC?

Have they become too ‘arrogant, self-centred, and self-serving’, traits their deputy president disputes?

I don’t know.

What I do know though is if the ANC does not cleanse itself of its enduring internal ills, the ones that have seen them fail-bitterly in the metros across the country, we are likely to see increased bloodbath.

If the ANC does not accept that Nkandla was a political blunder, a blunder worsened by how its own members of parliament handled it, a blunder its NEC exacerbated through the many remedial opportunities they chose not exploit, the bloodbath will persist.

If the ANC does not wake up, perishing their arrogance and accepting that matters such as e-tolls and the famous Waterkloof landing by JZ’s friends, matters such as how badly they treated the Public Protector, the bloodbath will persist.

If the ANC continues to fight the ANC, the bloodbath will persist.

If the ANC does not perform better in the municipalities they retained, and a few new ones they now have, more Herman Mashabas and SollyMsimangas will emerge even in rural areas where the ANC seems to be enjoying some loyalty, and blood will continue to flow.

In fact the ANC NEC, meeting (scheduled for this week) for the first time after the electoral disaster, should realise that not winning Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay, including winning lot of their erstwhile strongholds with reduced majority, makes it a crop completely frail to take the ANC forward.

If they don’t realise this, we should accept that no amount of noise we make – either through the ballot or elsewhere, will help the ANC appreciate that, like a decomposing potato, it is foul-smelling and estranging anyone with the capacity think.

Ed. Maruping is an independent commentator. Visit other social platforms for his work.

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