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Local government elections: The freaks come out to play

Thursday.

It’s a wet, dreary morning — miserable, grey, cold  — way more East Belfast than lower Glenwood, Durban.

It’s whisky weather really.

Pity about the early hour — it’s barely 5.30am — and the empty booze cupboard, which has been bare since the final temporary employer-employee relief fund (Ters) payment last year.

I’ll have to stick to coffee, it appears.

I wonder if Makro ever found out who drank the bottle of 50-year-old Glenfiddich that was looted from its Springfield Park store back in July.

The silence about what actually happened to that bottle has been bugging me ever since; even more than the identity of Jesus of George Goch’s 12 Disciples, or the whereabouts of the decuplets from Ekurhuleni.

After all, a bottle worth R650 000 should have some kind of tracking device on it, given that it costs more than most cars; houses even.

Surely, if Bill Gates can microchip a vaccine to track us — as the anti-vaccination brigade would have us believe — Makro, with all its resources, can lowjack a straight with a price tag higher than most South Africans’ annual income?

If uSathane can infiltrate a prophylactic — as suggested by our soon-to-be former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, currently on long leave pending his retirement in October  — why then, cannot Massmart do the same to the R21 666.66 a shot bottle of golden liquid?

It seems rather negligent to me — criminal even — not to take steps to prevent a bottle costing more than half-a-million rand from disappearing into the ether, without a trace.

If the bottle wasn’t dealt with during or immediately after the Sacking of Springfield Park, then my money is on it turning up at the homecoming party that’s being planned for the former head of state’s return to Nxamalala village once he’s out of hospital and back home to serve out his medical parole. 

Ayikhali, comrades, and all that.

Perhaps.

Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma may have declared the date for the 1 November local government elections only eight days ago, but the campaign is already in full swing, if the deluge of SMS messages and calls from the Democratic Alliance is anything to go by.

Local government elections are probably the most important, in that we’re voting for the people who will — in theory — keep the streets clean, the lights on and the bins emptied, the basic stuff that municipalities deal with.

They’re also a hoot in that all the freaks come out for the local government elections. Perhaps it’s the low deposit and nomination threshold, but municipal polls really get the space cadets going.

This time around we have — among others — Herman Mashaba, running around frothing at the mouth about introducing prayer in schools, mass deportations of foreign nationals and bringing back the death penalty, all issues that have absolutely fuck all to do with local government. Their job — if elected — is making sure that the potholes are filled and the verges trimmed.

Thus far, all the DA communication has been from  party footsoldiers, call-centre kiddies and the like, wanting to know if I’m registered in the ward and whether I’m keen to give them my X on 1 November. 

There’s been nothing from the party bosses to encourage me to give the DA my vote.

Not that I’d expected to hear from DA leader John Steenhuisen during the hustings. John hasn’t spoken to me since I called him “The Interim One” when he took over after Mmusi Maimane got the knife in 2019, so I’m not expecting his call any time soon — but I thought I’d have heard from some of their more senior activists by now.

Perhaps the DA has given up on me as a potential voter, what with its move to the white and all that; written me off as a waste of time.

Data.

It makes sense — I’ve never voted for them and don’t see myself doing so any time soon.

The ANC have also been pretty quiet, come to think of it.

Perhaps ukhongolose have also given up on me as a potential voter, and decided not to waste their time, energy and airtime.

I wouldn’t blame them — they last got my vote in 2008.

Perhaps it’s just economics — and not about me — and the ANC canvassers simply don’t have data or airtime to message or call me, or anybody else for that matter.

After all, if the governing party can’t pay its own staff, it’s not likely to be able to buy data either.

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

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Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

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