Zille slithers into voting controversy

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ST DA Free State626 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS DA leader Helen Zille speaks to the crowd during an election rally in Seeisoville stadium outside Kroonstad in the Free State. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Kroonstad - DA leader Helen Zille has again referred to the ANC as a snake, and effectively Satan, as the political rhetoric heats up and becomes increasingly less secular on the eve of the country’s provincial and national elections next month.

She was speaking to DA supporters at a mini-rally in the Free State on Monday.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe recently used the analogy of a snake to describe attacks on the ANC, saying attacks on President Jacob Zuma were akin to the crushing of the head of a snake in order to paralyse the rest of its body.

An attack on Zuma was an attack on the whole political party, he said.

But Zille has now repeatedly taken the analogy further by saying the snake symbolises Satan. “Mantashe was right. The ANC is a snake. Snakes symbolise Satan,” Zille said.

Meanwhile, priests in Cape Town had toyi-toyied in protest against corruption in the government over the weekend but, Zille warned, marching was no substitute for a vote.

“It’s a ridiculous excuse that because government’s not working that therefore you are not going to vote. If there’s isn’t a party worth getting your vote, why don’t you start your own party. Some people say: ‘I don’t like the ANC any more (so) I will vote for a small party’. But you are wasting your vote.

“(Many of) the small parties didn’t reach the threshold (of going to Parliament), but (those 135 000 votes) would have given the DA three more seats. If you don’t like (the ANC) there’s only one party big enough to challenge the ANC, to be in government – and that is the DA.”

Speaking to Independent Newspapers after her address, Zille said her comments about voting for smaller parties were not specifically aimed at the Vukani! Sidikwe! (Wake Up! We are Fed up) Vote No campaign, led by disgruntled ANC veterans Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.

The campaign encourages South Africans unhappy with corruption and with the ANC to either spoil their ballots or vote for a small party and Kasrils has explicitly instructed people not to vote for the DA.

Addressing the rally earlier, DA parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko said the ANC government had turned the Free State into “its own endless ATM – taking money here, there, everywhere”.

“This rampant corruption throughout the Free State government is unrivaled by any other province in South Africa,” she said.

She lambasted Free State Premier, Ace Magashule, for spending R140 million on a government website.

Mazibuko slammed President Jacob Zuma for “not once” apologising or taking responsibility for the R246m expenditure on his private Nkandla home.

“Running away when you should answer for what you have done wrong makes you a coward, not a leader.”

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