2024 Vote will either sink or save South Africa

Published Nov 30, 2023


The voter registration weekend and the subsequent political party campaigns, in particular by the ANC, have given South Africans a glimpse of the cheap politicking they will be subjected to in the run-up to next year’s crucial election.

Using the face of Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya in its campaign to claim credit for empowering women in the judiciary, the ANC demonstrated its long-lost morals and credibility, the core foundations upon which its founding fathers and mothers built the organisation.

No apology can justify why it opted for this embarrassing route, which not only undermines Justice Maya’s name but brings unnecessary attention to the judiciary, which has to be and – be seen to be –impartial at all times.

Thankfully this new low did little to damage the justice’s name.

This incident raises several questions and again confirms what many ANC critics often argue: that the party cannot self-correct, its renewal is nothing but rhetoric, and it would stop at nothing to regain power it certainly does not deserve.

It also confirms that it has no good story to convince South Africans to vote for it.

Surely a party worth its salt would have issued an apology accompanied by a commitment that those who came up and approved the concept were being held accountable.

But alas, it’s business as usual, so long as its president issued a non-apology.

The ANC has apologised for using Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya's image on an election campaign poster. Picture: MyANC/X

In doing so, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa could not resist the temptation of subtly taking a swipe at judges, saying that they should “not drag themselves into politics, because we also cannot drag ourselves into judicial matters”.

The ANC and other parties need no reminder that South Africans are alive to the electioneering leading up to next year.

Therefore the voters’ choices of who leads this country will have to be determined based on who can tackle the challenges the ANC has either worsened or ignored.

Next year’s vote will decide whether South Africa sinks or rises. We can only hope for the latter.

Cape Times