Zuma, Malema gun for votes
The ANC has gone into overdrive in a bid to head off voter apathy and internal dissent over its list process, using all its big guns, including President Jacob Zuma, in a last-minute bid to win votes.
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has emerged as Zuma’s counterpoint on the trail as he is used as a tailgunner to ramp up the negative campaign against the DA, which is giving the governing party a run for its money.
Yesterday Malema amped up the rhetoric, calling DA leader Helen Zille a monkey and a madam.
The ruling party’s top brass has fanned out across the country to hammer home the message among potentially disillusioned ANC supporters to deal with their problems internally and ignore the temptation to either back the “ANC independents” spawned by its chaotic list process or simply stay at home on May 18.
At the same time, they have cranked up the negative propaganda part of their campaign, rallies and door-to-door visits across the provinces to highlight the opposition’s weaknesses and lack of post-election service delivery programmes to try to stop a migration of voters over the next 10 days.
Zuma will play a key role in countering the no-vote lobby, addressing rallies and carrying out door-to-door visits in five provinces.
Zuma will, as he has done in the past week, target areas where independents are standing against ANC candidates, as well as historical strongholds of opposition parties.
In each province, he will conduct a flying whistle-stop tour aimed at plugging leaks in the ruling party’s support base and boosting morale among ANC volunteers, urging them to get the ANC vote out.
Zuma’s central message, delivered in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape this week, hones in on the hard-won nature of the vote and exhorts citizens not to “waste” it by either staying away or voting for “lesser” parties that lack the ANC’s historical commitment to uplifting the poor.
The spoiler role of “taking out” the opposition parties will be carried by the ANC’s political pit bulls, including Malema and other lower-level leaders, with Zuma, his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe and the rest of the ANC top structures focusing on keeping the faithful on board.
In Kimberley’s Galeshewe township yesterday, Zuma pleaded with supporters to ignore the temptation to stay away from the poll.
“I have heard people saying that they are not going to vote. They have been fed propaganda that there is no delivery.
“This propaganda has taken effect. If you do not vote, you are depriving yourself of a freedom we have fought for and given you. You are deciding to oppress yourself. If you are dissatisfied, use your vote to correct this. If you don’t vote, you are failing yourself and the nation.”
Zuma then laid into the opposition.
“I have tried to listen to those parties and tried to understand their manifestos. I still can’t tell you what it is they are trying to say. They cannot provide alternative policies or programmes. They can’t speak without criticising the ANC. They have nothing to offer.”
Zuma said voting for the opposition was a “negative” vote that had the same value as a spoiled vote because they were doomed to lose.
“If you love yourself and love your vote, then why vote for a party that is going to lose. Where is the logic in that? Exercise your vote responsibly,” he said.
“The only positive vote that you can cast is a vote for the ANC.”
Malema, who accompanied Zuma throughout the Northern Cape yesterday, and provincial ANC and alliance leaders tore into Zille.
“You let the madam move around kissing your children, but she doesn’t love your children,” said Malema.
“Madam will never be the president of South Africa for as long as we are still alive. We will not allow that. She moves around dancing like a monkey, monkey-like, looking for your votes. Only the ANC will take us out of poverty, not madam.”
The PAC, Malema said, was a “former organisation”, the IFP a “cultural group that organises maskandi” and Cope was “dead”.
Turning to the “don’t vote” campaign, Malema said people were acting like “spoilt brats”.
“A person will be standing watering the lawn of their RDP house yet say that there is no delivery. But that RDP house was provided by the ANC. We must not entertain little spoilt brats. When protesting they burn tyres on a tar road delivered by the ANC, but they complain there is no delivery,” he charged.
Over the next 10 days the ANC campaign will also focus on getting its voters to the polling stations. Zuma appealed to residents with cars to fill their tanks and vote early so they could then help others.
“The youth must be out in large numbers. There must be no citizen who fails to vote because there is no transport. Wake up early. Don’t be the last in the queue. Tell your family, tell your friends. On D-day we must show them who we are,” Zuma said.