Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and President Jacob Zuma in a stand-off at the opening of the Saldanha Bay IDZ. Picture: Armand Hough

Khaya Dlanga says while we are distracted by the mud-slinging between the political parties ahead of this year’s general election, voters will be missing the real issues.

Pretoria - Election season is upon us.

And what a great circus it will be. Political parties will be coming after us like a guy at the club hitting on a girl because he wants to take someone home. We’ll be wooed, wined and dined. Promises of heaven and earth will be made while the parties discredit everything said to us by any other potential suitor.

While we are distracted by the mud-slinging between the political parties, voters will be missing the real issues that should be discussed for us to make informed decisions. It is perhaps also the fault of the people who find mud-slinging more interesting than finding out about the real issues the political parties are bringing to the table.

Proportionally, Julius Malema’s EFF is probably going to get lots of press yet the votes his party will get will most likely not reflect the press he got during the elections. It will be less. There will be a lot of press because Malema does not know how to - or is not willing to mince his words - because he knows that not holding back gets the attention he wants and needs for his party. He will start calling his EFF the “ruling party in waiting”. Easy jibes against the president.

You can’t fault the fellow for confidence. There is still not a chance that he will win. Maybe he might win a town or two, but he won’t win anything major.

His rhetoric entertains, but people still don’t know if he started the political party because he is angry or because he really wants to improve the lot of South Africans, or his own.

It would have been really interesting to see what would have happened to his EFF if his corruption trial was set for early this year rather than in September. He would have used the trial as a campaign tool probably. South Africans love persecution complexes, because he would sell us that.

If you recall, the perception was created that Jacob Zuma was being persecuted by Thabo Mbeki and then went on to win the ANC presidency.

Malema would have surely portrayed himself as the innocent downtrodden lamb. Yet he is the same guy who benefited from the blind eye a lot of powerful people turned when he was in favour.

The EFF won’t do as well as many people hope. In fact, I am almost sure that the DA will get a greater increase of voters than the EFF will be able to get.

AgangSA is going to be the biggest waste of everyone’s time, including Mamphela Ramphele herself. As Business Day columnist Sipho Hlongwane put it, she has no charisma. Not only is her deficit of charisma a shortcoming, no one really knows what her party wants to achieve.

The only thing we sense is that she is anti-ANC, but we don’t know what she stands for. Charisma is important in politics. If you lack it, people don’t listen to what you have to say. One of her biggest mistakes is that she seems to be using American-style politics without looking at the context and insights of South Africa.

The ANC is going to be under a great deal of attack. Particularly its president because some view him as the ANC’s weakest point. The ANC is going to show its power by pulling crowds to its rallies in ways in which other parties can only envy. For all that the party gets criticised for, no other party is capable of rallying around its leader and turning a situation around like the ANC.

The ANC is not going to get the two-thirds majority it just missed in the last general election. It will probably lose between 1 percent and 4 percent, mostly from people who just decide to stay away. These are the people the ANC needs to convince the most. Those who’d vote for the ANC but no other party.

We’re in for a wild ride. Brace yourselves.

Pretoria News