POLITICS turned surreal yesterday as Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula compared the DA’s governing of the Western Cape to witchcraft – and urged residents to summon the help of tokoloshes.
Mbalula spoke in Nyanga on the occasion of commemorating the 35th anniversary of Solomon Mahlangu’s death.
Mahlangu was an Umkhonto we Sizwe freedom fighter, who at the age of 23 was hanged by the apartheid government on April 6, 1979.
“This thing of witchcraft is when a witch does nothing for the people but they still get re-elected. This is what we find ourselves in here in the Western Cape. We are being governed by witches,” Mbalula told the crowd at the Lusaka Community Hall.
In his speech, Mbalula laid into the DA-led provincial government and what he termed a failure to deliver for poor communities.
“These witches are oppressing us, they are trampling on us. Where are the tokoloshes and the (sangomas) so that we can chase these witches away?
“It is witchcraft to let people live with faeces inside their own homes and have no proper toilets. This is the same province where farmworkers are not paid with money but in the dop system.”
“It is the same place where our people are called refugees. What do you call that? Witchcraft,” he added.
He was welcomed with cheers, dance and song by about 120 people, mostly ANC supporters. Mbalula said South Africans elsewhere enjoyed freedom while those in the Western Cape remained oppressed under the DA. There was little development in townships and young people were unemployed because the DA-led government was not creating jobs for them, Mbalula said.
He said that this would change if they elected ANC to govern the province. Premier Helen Zille had done nothing to improve the lives of poor people in the province, even during her time as mayor of Cape Town, Mbalula said.
Mbalula said ANC supporters should not allow themselves to be misled into joining other parties by people who speak ill of the party. Those were the same people who were trying to turn supporters against President Jacob Zuma in an attempt to cut its numbers.
“They are talking about a report that says comrade Zuma stole money from the state… No one is stopping the theft being promoted by Zille in the Western Cape. You don’t hear anyone making any noise about that R10 billion is gone, spent on consultants by Helen Zille. This does not come from the ANC; it is from the auditor- general.”
Despite the report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Mbalula said the ANC would not abandon Zuma.
“This thing that we must leave comrade Zuma in a shambles is a delusion... The theft that happened in Nkandla is because there are a lot of crooks in Public Works. These thieves inflated the prices.
“Msholozi (Zuma) can’t oversee everything that happened there and these thieves took advantage of that,” Mbalula said.
ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said ANC supporters should go out to vote next month because they can’t leave the country “to idiots like the EFF and witches like Helen Zille”.