There’s been real stadium envy in recent polls, literally all about who had the biggest. It’s noticeable that the EFF have chosen the slightly smaller Orlando Stadium than the mega FNB down the road for their Tshela Thupa (give them a hiding) rally, while the ANC’s going for the bigger Ellis Park - yet still a third smaller than FNB, for their Siyanqoba rally (we will conquer). The DA’s trying to fill Dobsonville - by far the smallest of the three - for theirs. It’s no coincidence that they are all in Joburg, since Gauteng could be the second province for the ANC to lose - or cling to by coalition. But in coalition with who and which ANC?
There’s a bizarre schizophrenia in the ruling party at the moment. Two of the ANC (and SA’s) past presidents have been hard at work on the stumps (At the time of writing JZ had been resolutely left in KZN, but by whose design it was unclear). Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe’s messages have been on point and unequivocal: rebuild the ANC and investigate all those fingered in the welter of book and commission of inquiry revelations - and if justified get them off the electoral lists.
Quick as a flash, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule took the polar opposite tack; whipping up some posters for a rally in his Free State heartland of Parys last Sunday, defending - in Bell Pottinger-esque terms - the party’s greatest rogues, in the court of public opinion at least: himself, Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane, all of whom now face the hardest test of all - an audit from the receiver on taxes owed on undeclared income. That’s always been a bugger to dodge, ask Al Capone - or the commander-in-thief.
In the meantime, the Ramaphosa faction have been banging away at the only message they have - keep supporting him and he’ll clean everything up.