File picture: Toby Melville/Reuters
File picture: Toby Melville/Reuters

Get ready for the spectacular election circus

By Dennis Pather Time of article published Jan 13, 2019

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Roll up, roll up! The 2019 election circus is coming to town.

Get ready for a breathtaking extravaganza of blunder and bluster, featuring some of the country’s best-known clowns, political acrobats and performing party animals all competing for the opportunity to keep the nation entertained for the next five years.

There are comic entertainers galore, and among those with top billing is the man running the ANC’s election machinery, Fikile Mbalula, who mistakenly encouraged voters recently to register for the opposition EFF; ANC military veteran Carl Niehaus who lied about a family death to pay off a personal debt; DA stalwart Helen Zille who rejects apartheid, but is partial to colonialism; and ex-finance minister, Malusi Gigaba who tickles voters’ funny bones with his little pinkie.

The circus will also give you an opportunity to witness displays of political juggling and acrobatics not seen since apartheid cabinet minister Piet “Promises” Koornhof performed his infamous somersault in 1992 when marrying a woman of colour and switching to the ANC.

But the Big Top is never complete without our pet friends and featuring at Election 2019 will be party animals across the entire political spectrum.

In fact, voters in South Africa are spoilt for choice as, at the last count, there were 563 political parties registered for the poll. Take your pick.

You could be an old-fashioned traditionalist and settle for one of the fancied candidates - Cyril Ramaphosa, Mmusi Maimane or even Julius Malema, although the EFF leader appears to have suffered from laryngitis in the run-up.

Or you could opt for something more adventurous like the Dagga Party, the Abolition of Income Tax Party, the Bolshevik Party or even the Keep It Straight and Simple Party.

Who knows, you might even invoke a special blessing from above by placing your cross against God’s People’s Party?

Adding to the excitement this year is an unholy scramble by personalities in the news hoping to cash in on their popularity or notoriety.

Prominent among them is Aunt Patricia who’s frankly too much of a whinger to be president, but has notched up enough publicity in her battle against the DA to earn her a good place on the back benches.

Former SABC chief operating office, Hlaudi “90% or nothing” Motsoeneng is also in the hunt, confident that his new party will rule South Africa after the poll.

Anyone know where the safety bunkers are hidden?

And not to be outdone will be that well known Gupta disciple, Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manye, who, having failed with his New Age newspaper and ANN7 ventures, is hoping to cash in at the ATM.

That’s the acronym of his new party, African Transformation Movement and money doesn’t appear to be an impediment.

“If the Guptas will give me money, I will take it,” he told journalists.

So, roll up, roll up. Promises are on the house, courtesy of the candidates.

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