Zuma: When you vote for the ANC, you vote for a car that is already en route

2019-04-23 23:20

The ANC has unleashed it’s almost-president, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, into the eThekwini region ahead of next month’s polls.

This particular area bears the tell-tale signs of a recent protest.

The road has dents from what could only be burning tyres, bits of broken stone where there shouldn’t be.

There has been no recent rain but water gathers on the sides of the road indicating a weak drainage system.

There is a putrid stench in the air.

The GPS system has lost signal, but an elderly woman walking around with a smile on her face is happy to help point out where the meeting will be.

“Ikhona la, nathi siya khona siyiyona nathi oANC, ngisaphuthuma amadumbe ami nje.”

At the venue, which looks to be an abandoned hall, a few people clad in yellow T-shirts gather outside looking worried.

A woman on the phone who looks to be in charge laments that “attendance is poor”.

A bakkie with ANC signage drives around the area with someone shouting into a megaphone: “Ayikho enye inhlangano esiyaziyo, sazi uKhongolose kuphela.” (There is no other organisation we know only the ANC.)

Residents seem unimpressed and go about their business. A woman walks down a steep hill balancing banana’s on her head while holding an umbrella over herself and her cargo.

It is 27°C but it feels like a lot more. Outside the venue a man rummages around in a large metal bin.

A young man in a white vest responds to the call made on the megaphone saying: “Niqashana nodwa kwiANC, siyiyouth sihlel’ emakhaya.” (You hire each other in the ANC while us young people languish at home.)

Dlamini-Zuma arrives clad in ANC colours, her doek a large towering arrangement on her head and she dances along with the small crowd before embarking on a door-to-door visit with only two stops.

“Sizozi khalela nje ukuthi sicela nivotel’ uANC. Siyacela,” she pleads, the picture of humility.

The ANC was victorious in two by-elections last week, one which resulted in the party displacing an Inkatha Freedom Party-led coalition.

In 2014 the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal defied the downward trend across the country, growing a further 3% to reach 65% at the polls.

At the community meeting which follows the brief door-to-door, residents lament the lack of a proper sewerage system, saying they are assaulted by the smell and which also breeds diseases.

Another major issue is that the ANC imposes councillors on the residents and they asked her to stop this.

Three days later the other Zuma is unleashed, former president Jacob Zuma takes to Esikhawini alongside deputy chairperson in the province Mike Mabuyakhulu and a large security contingent.

As the pair walk the streets in what looks to be an uncomfortable union, Zuma’s usual enthusiasm is lacking.

Still residents come out in their numbers to shake his hand, to pray for him, to take selfies and to express their disbelief at seeing the former president.

Msholozi does not turn a single person away but also speaks very little inside the homes of the residents, allowing Mabuyakhulu to take the lead.

During one of the visits the two are even shown to a small kitchen when the fridge is opened to reveal that there is no food.

Repeated requests are made for Zuma to speak to the media, he finally grants the request after a community meeting in which he is serenaded by adoring supporters with a rendition of “Umshini wami”.

Approaching the media he gives a little jig before responding to a question of how are you, saying “ngiphile nje ngosheleni”.

The terms of engagements have been agreed upon, no questions are to be posed to the former president.

He says in isiZulu that he has been going around encouraging residents to vote for the ANC which has been delivering for 25 years.

He lauds the party for being honest; admits that there had been some difficulties in fixing the wrongs made by the oppressors, saying that it cannot happen overnight.

“When you vote for the ANC, you vote for a car that is already en route, you don’t vote for a car whose road worthiness you are unsure of.

“Take this car that you know and leave the one that you don’t; the one that you don’t may be leading you to a place you are not going to or want to go to.

“We want this thing that white people call ‘content.’ How will you govern the country? There is no one who can say that the ANC has not worked for it’s people; we have electricity in the rural areas. There is water, no one walks to rivers to get water. People of South Africa must stick with the ANC which delivers.”

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August 18 2019