Parties wringing out the votes

A screengrab of ANC volunteers in the Mzala Nxumalo (Vryheid) region helping an older woman with her washing in the hope of getting her vote.

A screengrab of ANC volunteers in the Mzala Nxumalo (Vryheid) region helping an older woman with her washing in the hope of getting her vote.

Published May 4, 2024


Durban — As the May 29 elections draw closer, some political parties have left people spellbound by resorting to desperate campaigning to woo voters. Parties have conducted unusual campaign actions, both in person and through social media.

Mbuso Nene and two ANC comrades did exactly this while campaigning in the Mzala Nxumalo (Vryheid) region where they were videoed helping an elderly woman with her laundry.

The video was posted on the ANC’s WhatsApp group by activist Ndabezinhle Sibiya accompanied by a script that boasted: “The ANC volunteers are authentic and understand the meaning of campaigning. They value the opportunity of seeking the mandate to govern from the public who are recipients of government services.”

The party said Nene and his comrades, whose identities were not disclosed, joined the senior citizen, also not named, washing clothes.

“Together with other volunteers they quickly helped the old lady (with washing) who was impressed and enjoyed the humbleness of the ANC volunteers.

“Cde Mbuso reminds senior citizens about the excellent delivery under the ANC government over the past 30 years,” said the ANC.

While they were busy with the washing, Nene was heard convincing the woman to vote for the ANC instead of hating its government.

He also pleaded with the woman not to make a mistake when she went to the ballot box, saying she should “look at this”, pointing at an ANC T-shirt with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s face, “and say I belong to Ramaphosa”.

The Umkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) whose leader, former president Jacob Zuma, has not failed to impress voters with his impressive dance moves at party events posted on Facebook a video of three young men hitting an ANC poster bearing Ramaphosa’s face, with open hands. They stopped short of damaging it.

The youths accused Ramaphosa of letting them down and said they were supporting Zuma.

Another MKP poster reminded voters that Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele banned the sale of traditional beer during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Ramaphosa does not love our black cultures but you keep telling us about the ANC, you want us to continue suffering until we all die,” read the post.

The DA in KZN has also posted videos of its mayoral candidate Chris Pappas dirtying his hands by joining workers of a construction company, which was repairing damaged roads in Umgeni Municipality where he is mayor.

In Nkomazi, Mpumalanga, the EFF donated electricity transformers to ward 19 residents who had been without electricity since March.

EFF head Julius Malema also caused a stir on social media when he called King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo of AbaThembu nation a sell-out. The king was seen wearing an ANC T-shirt at a recent ANC rally in Eastern Cape soon after he had pledged unwavering support for the EFF.

Political analyst Mpumelelo Zikalala said it was common for political leaders to go the extra mile campaigning for their parties at election time. He said the strategy of seeing politicians helping an elderly woman with washing might help to convince some voters.

“I also saw the DA donating reflector jackets and food parcels to CPF members.

“It is clear that each one wants to impress by demonstrating what good they can do,” he said.

Rise SA’s KwaZulu-Natal mayoral candidate Nonkululeko Hlongwane-Mhlongo described this type of campaign as patronising voters.

Independent on Saturday