Gerald Potash,

Notwithstanding the pollsters warning us that we were in for political upheaval at our general election the final vote tally surprised many. I’m almost certain that nobody expected the ANC to fall so far under the 50% mark for the first time since our first election, when the ANC, headed by Nelson Mandela 30 years ago polled 67%.

This is the state of the various parties who qualified to take up parliamentary seats with the number of members who will be representing them. ANC 159, DA 87, MKP 58, EFF 39, IVP 17, Patriotic Alliance 9, FF+ 6, ActionSA 6, ACDP 3, UDM 3, ATM 2, al Jamah-ah 2, Bosa 2, NCC 2, Rise Mzansi 2, Good 1, PAC 1, UAT 1. The horse trading to be the ANC’s partner(s) in the coalition has already started and we now wait to see what a coalition government will look like. They have only two weeks from last Thursday to make up their minds.

Not too many other democratic countries have 18 political parties represented in their parliament. What it proves is that SA is democratic and that our elections are free and fair.

The ANC lost 71 parliamentary seats. The DA gained 3, but Zuma’s new MK party got 58 seats and the EFF lost 2. 

 With all 51 registered parties on the voting sheets, and then having to fill in three different voting forms (National, Provincial & Independent persons standing for office) the voting was quite complicated. That may account for the rather poor turnout of voters. Only 16.1 million of the almost 28 million registered voters voted.

Now the fun and games has started and the DA have announced a powerful committee to negotiate the possible (probable?) joining with the ANC in government. Tony Leon and Helen Zille–both former leaders of the DA– have joined a committee to negotiate a deal that will have a keen eye on cadre deployment and financial wastage (corruption). Theoretically, the ANC could join with their own splinter party, MK or the EFF but it is unlikely since Ramaphosa and Zuma hate each other, and Malema is in it only for himself. 

It should be noted that Cosatu, the largest trade union, who are in bed with the ANC, have warned that they will not be happy with their political party, the ANC joining with the DA. They are the workers’ federation and have asked their political cohorts not to form a coalition with the DA because they see the DA leader, John Steenhuisen as being ‘anti-worker’. Then at an NEC (ANC big shots) meeting on Tuesday the communists in the party also came out strongly against joining with the DA. 

Jacob Zuma bulldozed himself into the ROC (Results Operating Centre) with all his bodyguards and told all who were present that MK had won the election. Since then he has also been to court to try to have the election vote declared illegal. He believes that his party won the election(?) and his legal action is against the IEC  (Electoral Commission). The court action didn’t work so now his uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party is threatening to boycott the first sitting of parliament expecting that that will make the vote for coalition illegal.  They are wrong, it will only serve to make the opening session of parliament calmer. This is Brandan’s clever cartoon from our Sunday Times:

Moeletsi Mbeke has warned the ANC that their extinction is likely if they continue the way they are going. After what they have done to SA in the last 15 years or so, wouldn’t that be nice

The poor ANC performance in the general election is not Cyril’s only headache. He is being sued by the EFF for his part in the Phala Phala money laundering affair. In the circumstances I am surprised how relaxed and humorous he was when announcing the election results to the nation.

Paul Hoffman, of Accontabilty Now has an article in BusinessLive that points out that since 1948 only two political parties have governed SA; the National party and then the ANC since 1994. Our current system of proportional representation lends itself to coalition governments. If the ANC are going to continue striving for “hegemonic control of all the levers of power in society” it may well become a dinosaur party, writes Hoffman.

Paul is pleased that the DA have already indicated that within the first 100 days of parliament the MPs will have to vote on the establishment of a Chapter 9 anti-Corruption commission. The Chapter 9 institutions are totally independent and do not have any parliamentary responsibility. The MPs have absolutely no say or influence on their decisions. 

How will the vote go when this comes up in parliament? Then all eyes will be on how the ANC MPs vote. Have they learnt or will they still want to favour and protect their cadres?

Two very big shots in the ANC have been in court this week facing serious corruption charges. The former speaker, and before that a minister in several portfolios–Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula– has already resigned from the ANC and yesterday our Sport’s Minister (No 13 on the ANC parliamentary list) Zizi Kodwa also resigned from party after being formally charged. Slowly the NPA is doing it’s work. These two were both influential in the party and it is a feather in the cap of Shamila Batohi and her small batch of legal eagles.

The question must be asked why did Ramaphosa not kick them out of the party years ago? Both were up to their eyes in publicity of the worse kind for years…….all those years Ramaphosa was head of the ANC and he did nothing. Actually with the Speaker he elevated her from being a minister into parliament, with more perks and a better salary. That was her punishment.                                   What a wus Ramaphosa is!

Winter has arrived. We have not only recorded our first signs of snow but the Eastern Cape even had a devastating tornado causing floods, death and destruction. Many of the roads are closed and emergency services have had their hands full. Durban suffered too and buildings were gutted by the terrible weather. Here in the Cape we have had lovely showers, which we need badly and the temperature has also dropped. 

I liked this cartoon from Miles in the Daily Dispatch yesterday:

One bit of good news this week is that our petrol price has dropped quite nicely from yesterday. We need more of this kind of thing. And good news too is that our Standard Bank believes that the Rand will strengthen and there will be a market rally as soon as a coalition government becomes effective. As the negotiations for the coalition runs into headwinds and a group of ANC cadres objected to joining with the DA the Rand not unexpectedly weakened.

The coach and Oom Dawie (from next door) were both with me on the couch to watch the important game between the two SA in contention to win the competition.  The Stormers (Western Province to you) played the Lions (Transvaal or more correctly Gauteng to you) at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. The game was exciting and the lead changed hands more than just once and at the end we had beaten the Lions. Luckily the score was so close that the Lions just managed to earn one log point (from losing narrowly) and so made it into the knock-out stages of the competition and that satisfied Oom Dawie, who is a huge Lions fan.

The Proteas (our national cricket team) got off to a fine start in their world cup clash against Sri-lanka on Monday in New York. Cricket in New York?? Yup, that is where the world cup is being played in the USA and Canada. 

As always,                                                                                


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One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. Great Update thanks. Just hope the DA take the sensible approach and go in with the ANC in a GNU. If they dont, MK, ANC and EFF could just derail the whole thing and we back to square one just like ZANU PF. I thought Cyrils speach and declaration of a GNU was great and he basicaly spelt out the terms of engagement being NON racisist, Non Sexist, anti Corruption, Economic growrth and Jobs etc…. So lets hope DA buy in and drop petty politics demands. Cadre employment issue can come later.

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