/ 14 October 2008

‘I’ve lost faith in the ANC’

Nosimilo Ndlovu and Thembelihle Tshabalala asked ordinary South Africans to share their views on the possibility of a new political party.

1. Simon Maropeng (24), marketing graduate
“I am a die-hard voter for the ANC and I have a lot of faith in it,” says Maropeng. He says that the ANC’s rich history makes him view it as the only possible political party to support. “The ANC is like the Titanic, it won’t sink instantly so I am not panicking over the so-called split. I will believe it when I see it and until then I still stick to the ANC as I know it.

“When it comes to voting, I will have to look at who has the best policies. If the new party comes with a better deal than the current ANC then I might consider it.”

2. Mashabela Galane (27)
Galane has always been a strong ANC supporter, but says: “I have lost faith in the members of the ruling party — They use the presidency seat to fight their own battles. They don’t care about the people.”

Galane said he believes the ANC needs a strong opposition party. “I think some of the members that might break away from the ANC may appeal to a new market. A lot of ‘black diamonds’ don’t vote and I think these members who want to start the new party might appeal to the black diamonds.”

Galane said he would vote for the new party. “The ANC betrayed us down the line.”

3. James Obi (36)
Obi said he is definitely saving his vote for the new party. “I am going to vote for the separate party, but not for Jacob Zuma.” A former ANC voter, Obi said he no longer believes it is fair.

“They pick the parts they like when it comes to upholding the law. How can they have Schabir Shaik in jail for corruption charges yet Zuma, his superior, gets to argue his way out of jail using the same law.”

4. Rayne van Zyl (51), manager
Van Zyl said he will vote for the DA in the next elections because he believes it could run the country better than the ANC.

“The current party spends far too much on changing street names rather than creating jobs and naming those streets without names.”

He believes the ANC could have done more to focus on service delivery rather than its own selfish battles. He said he would encourage the separation, as it would decrease the strength of the ANC. “Maybe if they divide there would be less of them.”

5. Hlengiwe Tshabalala (31), administrator
Tshabalala is originally from KwaZulu-Natal and says she has voted for the ANC. “That party has done a lot for my area. I know that there are problems in the party now but I don’t think they are big issues.”

Tshabalala thinks that the ANC is strong enough to uphold its unity. “Every family has its feuds and they don’t last forever. I believe that these people will make up and if they don’t and they split then I will stick with the ANC I know.”

6.Trevor Geldenhuys (50), unemployed
Geldenhuys has no faith in the ANC. “This war has become about the Zulus and the Xhosas; it is no longer about us, the people. As a white male in this country it doesn’t really matter who I vote for because I have been sidelined anyway.”

He says that the ANC seems too focused on power issues among its members and is not dealing with fundamental issues. “I am not even going to bother myself voting for any of the parties — be it the old ANC or the breakaway part. It’s not worth it.”

7. Musa Mabele (27), IT technician
Mabele says he is not confident about the future of the ANC.
“I don’t know what’s happening. Julius Malema is rude, the president was taken from his seat and now there are rumours that the party is splitting. I think a lot of the ANC members forget that they are where they are because of the ANC and not the other way around.

“The thing is that ANC is not Thabo Mbeki, nor is it Jacob Zuma. If such divisions are happening because of individuals then whatever new party will be formed will be formed on bitterness. So I will not vote for it. Not only that, but I wouldn’t know what that new party stands for so I won’t vote for it.”

8. Elizabeth Maisane (48), vendor
Maisane has been selling everything from vegetables to curtains on the streets of Johannesburg for more than 30 years. She says she is really hurt by what is going on in the ANC.

“I am really not happy with what’s happening in the ANC because that party fought for freedom in our country.”

Maisane says that many people of high calibre are leaving the ANC because of all the drama.

“Thabo Mbeki was a great president and I voted for the ANC twice because I like him. I will vote for the ANC again because I believe in their success in governing the country.”

She says she would support the new party. “If it stands for what the ANC stands for, I would vote for it. But I don’t like the fact that it will be born out of fights and disagreements.”

9.Derek Lerm (35), business manager,
Lerm says he will vote for the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).

“The ANC is a bit of a mess at the moment; there is too much in-house fighting. The new party can be a strong opposition and other parties like the ACDP and the DA may want to merge into this party to make it more powerful.” He says the new party should try to strengthen its stance on all the things the old party was weak on, such as crime, HIV/Aids and service delivery.

10. Mandla Zwane (26), importer
Zwane says his passion for politics died over the past year. “I used to follow South African politics religiously and I was a huge fan of the ANC, but now I have stopped because of all the issues.”

Zwane says that ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is a bad reflection of the country’s youth. “He says all the wrong things and he misrepresents us.”

As for the split in the ANC: “I don’t think I am going to vote for either of the two parties because I’m sure they’ll be the same thing.”