Don’t boo Zuma, asks ANC

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Copy of IOL pn zuma INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Gcina Ndwalane

Johannesburg - Booing President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s final rally would spoil the party’s last campaign stop. Perhaps this is why the party has drafted in popular musicians Zahara, Ifani, Professor, Mzwakhe Mbuli, and Mafikizolo to drown out any possible protesters.

Vetting people to prevent Zuma being booed at the Siyanqoba victory rally FNB Stadium in Joburg on Sunday would be impossible, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe conceded on Friday. “Booing is part of our everyday life, we deal with it every day,” he said. However, the ANC has gone to great lengths to avoid embarrassment, reportedly making lists of those who will be bussed to the stadium.

Zuma was booed last year at former president Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, this year in Limpopo and again at the international soccer friendly between South Africa and Brazil.

The DA will hold a “thank you” concert for supporters and activists at Walter Sisulu Square, Soweto.

Both parties will have reason to thank their supporters according to pollsters Ipsos which on Friday predicted the ANC will receive 63 percent of the vote, down from 65.9 percent in 2009 while the DA will get 22 percent of the vote, up six percentage points from the last election. Zuma would be returned as president and the DA would retain the Western Cape, it said.

The DA would also do well in Gauteng and the Northern Cape, getting more than 25 percent in each. Ipsos – which polled 3 730 people in February and March – said that in some provinces the ANC would see its lead eroded.

Election drama continued on Friday with the shrugging off of a last-ditch attempt to have Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairwoman Pansy Tlakula removed from office. The Electoral Court postponed an inquiry into Tlakula’s fitness for office until June, saying it would be unable to make a recommendation in the matter before the poll on Wednesday. The bid was always a long shot at this late stage. Even if the court had recommended that Tlakula be removed, this could have happened only after a committee of Parliament had considered the recommendation and a majority in the National Assembly adopted a resolution to this effect.

Even if there had been time before Wednesday, the parties calling for Tlakula’s removal – including the UDM, ACDP and Cope – have only a handful of seats in the National Assembly and could not have pulled it off. The ANC and DA have rejected calls for Tlakula to go.

In another drama, a DA application to interdict the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA), from distributing food parcels before the elections was dismissed by the High Court in Cape Town, the social development department said.

“It has been the DA’s accusation that Minister Dlamini through SASSA has been buying votes by distributing social relief,” spokeswoman Lumka Oliphant said.

Minister Bathabile Dlamini hailed the court’s decision as a victory for the poor, saying her department always maintained poor and vulnerable South Africans had a constitutional right to aid.

 

Campaigning meanwhile reaches a crescendo as parties wind up their efforts to sway voters with a series of final rallies. Tomorrow’s ANC rally will be broadcast live on SABC, eNCA and ANN7, at 1pm and beamed to other Siyanqoba rallies in KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi is to rally his party faithful at his stronghold Ulundi at 11am.

The EFF, meanwhile, had a last-minute reprieve after almost losing its chosen venue for its final rally, the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria.

The Constitutional Court announced on Friday that the first sitting of Parliament, when the National Assembly must elect the new president, Speaker and deputy speaker, would be on May 21.

The presidential inauguration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria is set for three days later.

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