Before the year is out SA will have held its next local government elections. As usual, once the results are in there will be analysts reading into the outcome whatever pleases their fancy. One of the favourite categorisations is one whereby the African electorate comes under thinly veiled attacks for voting along racial lines and therefore incorrectly.
We would volunteer that the very act of voting is in itself an expression of one’s lived experience and racism is one such experience for many of a darker hue.
The pre-1994 political setup was about not just denying the African their rights but even denying us our very humanity. It was applied with such cruel efficiency that the effects thereof will be felt for decades, if not centuries, to come.
The pitiful thing is that those thrust with the responsibilty of governing this land seem at times more absorbed with their politricks than with bearing the cross of improving the lot of the majority . As a result, despite doing quite a lot to improve the lot of the people, there is also a lot that leaves much to be desired.
This has often led to the question of what alternatives people have, come elections. Many have ventured the answer that there is virtually no alternative to the majority party, which has led to its arrogance and incompetence.
Now, a party that has in all but one elections shown growth is the DA. It gobbled the electoral support of the NP, the party of apartheid but if it harboured any dreams of gerverning SA it needed to win over sizeable support from the African majority. It seemed to recognise that when it actively sought to put in its positions of leadership Africans to attract the requited support.
That unravelled when the “experiment” was deemed a failure, again after an election, by former party leader Tony Leon and the madam with the Twitter account down south given to insulting Africans by telling them to appreciate colonialism and what it brought us.
The party is again caught in a race-tinged controversy of its own doing. Western Cape premier Alan Winde suspended MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela over claims of exaggerated educational qualifications and announced a probe into the saga. It was prompt action but within days news broke that parliamentary chief whip Natasha Mazzone had suddenly amended a previous claim that she was an advocate. She denied having made the claim despite cyber evidence to the contrary.
Madikizela is African, Mazzone is white. Why has no action been taken against her and an investigation ordered into her matter?
The DA cannot run away from explaining itself about this. And it will also need to show and convince the African voter why they should find in it a party to call a home and support despite the way it treats African members.