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The Democratic Alliance plans to capitalise on the “ever-evident” signs of paralysis showing within the African National Congress, Helen Zille announced on Thursday.
The DA leader and premier of the Western Cape said her party was on the lookout for a series of “catalytic moments” currently in the political landscape that would contribute to the fundamental realignment of politics in the country.
She predicted that the months leading up to the general elections in 2014 would present the most notable of these moments.
“There have been many catalytic moments for the ANC even though they haven't noticed them,” she said.
The departure from the ruling party of United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, she believed, was one event the ANC had disregarded.
She said Holomisa's appearance in Marikana during the Economic Freedom Fighters' launch was telling of many moments to come.
“The birth of Cope (Congress of the People) was a big moment, could it have turned out differently.”
“The start of (Julius) Malema's party, the EFF, because it has made the 'verkramptes' (ANC) uncomfortable because they are worried about their support base. They know they have to stick in there, but the terrain has become more difficult.”
She cited the future of suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi as a massive catalytic moment.
“And we know that Sdumo Dlamini and (President) Jacob Zuma's allies... are mobilising very hard (against Vavi).
“We also know that sexual indiscretions will not get Vavi ousted. But that is the reason, I believe, they are running the forensic audits so that it is not possible for him to be reinstated and to continue leading the union movement.”
Zille predicted that although Vavi was working very hard to push for a special congress within the congress, it was unlikely to happen before the elections.
She said the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa), which was at the forefront of Vavi's defence, was a powerful entity.
“If Vavi is not reinstated it will lead to a massive catalytic moment. Numsa is extremely powerful and many people within Numsa are pushing hard to start a new labour party.”
She quoted from unnamed research that if a new labour party was formed, 67 percent of Cosatu shop stewards across the board would vote for it.
Zille described the ANC as a dying party with a lot of tension and divergence within its leadership structures.
“The ANC is a dying party. A wounded animal is always the most dangerous. In the next 10 years, we'll see just how vicious it can be.”
The Western Cape premier anticipated that the political realignment was closer than expected and would most likely happen in Gauteng.
“The DA will be at the centre of this realignment, and the DA will do well in South Africa,” she said. - Sapa