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We are very grateful winners, says ANC's Gigaba

Sapa, Staff Reporter

Ruling party member Malusi Gigaba says the ANC would be "ungrateful winners" for questioning how it lost 38% of the votes in this year's elections.

President Jacob Zuma speaks to supporters in Library Gardens in Johannesburg on Saturday night. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The ANC could not satisfy everyone and would not be ungrateful winners in this year’s elections, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Sunday.

“The ANC can’t win a whopping 62% and then complain about the other 38%,” he told reporters at party headquarters Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

“We would be ungrateful winners by questioning how we lost that 38%.”

Gigaba, who was also the head of the ANC’s election campaign, said the ruling party was humbled by the win.

“We are very grateful winners. We are humbled. We are not complaining at all. We will not seek to try and satisfy everyone.”

He said the party believed the media was against it in the run-up to the national and provincial elections.

“You campaigned hard against the ANC and we beat you. We defeated you,” Gigaba told journalists.

“We know you never loved us. And we don’t have a problem with that. Our only concern was whether the people loved and trusted us,” he said, adding that the party would analyse the voting patterns in the election.

‘Rock solid’ support base
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the results showed the ANC’s support base was “rock solid”.

“The results of our work are qualitatively and quantitatively felt and appreciated by our people over a period of time.

“The people of South Africa have once again given us an overwhelming mandate to continue with the work we started ... in 1994.”

Turning point
Meanwhile, the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No!” campaign had realised its goal of preventing the ANC from getting a 66% majority, it said on Sunday.

“Not only has this been achieved, but the ruling party was not even able to garner as many votes as it did in 2009, in fact they shed 213 827 votes and slid, as we know, to 62.15% of the counted vote,” one of the campaign’s leaders, Louise Colvin, said in a statement.

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge launched the campaign in April. They called on South Africans to either vote for a minority party, or spoil their ballots.

There were 251 960 spoilt votes, according to the Independent Electoral Commission’s results. Colvin said this many votes would have secured between five and six seats in Parliament, placing it in sixth position.

While the campaign did not claim to have single-handedly caused the decline in ANC support, is said it helped add fuel to the fire.

“Given our history and the deep seated loyalty South Africans have for the proud liberation movement, we believe these elections mark a turning point where voters are prepared to shift from voting for a party to voting to strengthen the opposition,” Colvin said.

Protest vote against the ANC
The campaigners expressed the “simple truth” that it was not disloyal to make a protest vote against the ANC and it was saving the ideals of the Freedom Charter against corruption, autocracy, and maladministration.

Kasrils told City Press on Friday he did not spoil his vote.

“I voted for two parties, nationally and provincially, but not the ANC or the DA,” he was quoted as saying. - Sapa

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