File photo: Jackets and jerseys were stripped off as the clouds disappeared and the sun beat down on the field. Picture: Henk Kruger

Many regard it as disrespectful to trash a man at every turn after he put his life at risk to liberate our country, says Zed Denobrega.

Johannesburg -

In common with many voters, I have serious misgivings about the ANC leadership. However, recent influential opinion polls indicate that the party will easily win the election by a landslide margin of well over 60 percent.

One has to ask why the bevy of opposition parties will most likely once again fail to make tangible headway at the polls despite major ANC shortcomings – notably the Nkandla scandal.

As I see it the DA and the alphabet soup of political minnows are typically making the same error of ganging up on the ruling party in a cacophony of Zumaphobic demonisation instead of concentrating on propagating the merits of achievements and aspirations of their parties.

This is one of the most important lessons I learnt as a trainee salesman years ago – to proudly promote my own product and not sell by demeaning opposition companies, thus losing the respect of the client.

Despite acknowledging his personal failings, the predicted large ANC vote can largely be ascribed to a substantial sympathy backlash vote for President Jacob Zuma as many perceive him to have been the victim of a long over-the-top campaign of vilification, with never the slightest praise for his many achievements.

Such one-sided mindsets surely convey a gross lack of credibility for the proponents.

Many regard it as highly disrespectful to trash a man at every turn after he selflessly put his life at risk and spent many years on Robben Island in the service of liberating our country.

From my middle class background, despite my anti-ANC prejudices, such sustained victimisation of the president by the opposition and DA-supporting press and excessive daily venomous vitriol on radio talk shows, raises my ire to the extent that I must confess I cannot at this stage withdraw my vote from the ANC.

I don’t see any other party on the horizon with the capability and resolve to redress the racist imbalances of the past three centuries to navigate our country to a tranquil and prosperous future.

What is the choice for a disgruntled anti-ANC voter?

To perhaps vote for Julius Malema’s EFF with his unworkable policies and history of dodgy self-enrichment and tax avoidance, or the DA that disrespects African voters with its 80 percent white candidature lists, in a country with a huge African majority?

The cupboard of choice is unfortunately bare. The negativity is glaringly apparent in the advertising strategies of the parties.

While the gaggle of negative opposition carpers devote most of their advertising budget to vilifying the ANC, the ruling party’s overall thrust is to highlight its own achievements since 1994, many of them substantial by international standards.

The building of 3 million sub-economic RDP houses is not only a world record, I doubt if any other country in the world has a programme of supplying free housing to its citizens, especially on such a vast scale.

I don’t think the DA has its finger on the pulse of the average African voter.

I very much doubt if most black voters even put the same weight on the lavish living quarters built at Nkandla as the hysterical opposition do, just as the British admire their figurehead queen and her extended family living in several majestic palaces like Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, and Americans don’t begrudge President Barack Obama spending $100 million on a short jaunt to South Africa and commuting in a ridiculous 50-vehicle motorcade, money which could have been much better deployed to the needy.

I imagine most people in this country similarly do not begrudge their president living on an elevated grand scale at Nkandla, which they think befits his high standing in society.

In fact, they are probably proud of seeing their leader living in an elevated style, as has been the case with all tribal chiefs from time immemorial.

And they tend to forget about Nkandla when they realise how much their lives have improved since 1994, despite what Helen Zille and her cronies would want us to believe.

South Africans of all races have never had it so good. Which South African can honestly dispute they are far better off today than they were in 1994?

This is the lesson that opposition parties need to learn. Otherwise they have reached their glass ceiling and will never make meaningful inroads into the African communities.

Zed Denobrega


* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

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