The ANC has in the past being embroiled in many sagas which many predicted they will do a huge blow to the party’s image and credibility, but seemingly the party proves to be resiliently surviving this negative publicly and political mayhem, how the party manages to strategically dodge these political land mines, only the ANC leaders and spin masters can divulge all the juicy political strategies and tactics. However for one to have a deeper understanding on the impact of the Nkandla saga where the current ANC president is said have “unduly benefitted himself and his family” as per the Public Protector’s report titled ” Secure in comfort” released in March this year, the public out there needs to reasonably judge the current saga based on what is right as compared to what is perceived.
The ruling party since it took power swam in the ocean of many sagas like the arms deal and the travelgate saga, these scandals shook the ANC in one way or the other, they brought into light what many called the biggest unhidden fraud and corruption bust in the post colonial South Africa, although the truism behind this assertion is debatable, calls from the ANC front is that it is highly unreasonable for people to view these much highly publicized scandals as the ultimate sagas ever, as if the apartheid past never misplaced or abused public funds itself.
And the spin went on and on with regards to these scandals, they came and they passed, but the ANC continued to win the general elections with a huge majority, which in political terms reaffirmed the voters trust and confidence in the ruling party. Then, one is tempted to ask, can Nkandla cost the ANC badly in the coming 2016 municipal elections, this imperative question can be answered by looking at the performance of the ANC in this year’s elections and by predicting what might be the outcome of the 2016 local government elections.
This year’s much contested elections the ANC received just over 62% of the voter share as compared to the 2009 elections, where the party received over 65% of votes, the birth of EFF and it’s political comeback kid Julius Malema clinching just above 6% of the national share of votes, many political commentators believe that Nkandla and the Gauteng e-tolls might have been the main biggest contributor in the decrease of the votes the ANC received, whilst the formation of EFF again added salt to the wound on the loss of votes by the ruling party…
The 2016 local government elections I believe are going to be a litmus test for the ANC, in terms of testing its power and grip on the ground level, understandably so, local government is the coal-face of service delivery and it where physically the outcome of the ANC slogan of a batter life for all can be measured and closely monitored. The ANC in the past has beefed up its criteria on the nomination and appointment of its councilors, where communities were actively involved identifying their own preferred candidates…
Some say this method worked, some are of the view that it further entrenched the believe that those who are close to the powers that be, were given preference over other comrades. It goes without saying that the ANC as a ruling is faced with numerous post liberation challenges, however the party believe these challenges only serve to strengthen it and that the arty is taking out as much lessons as it can in continually improving in the governance of this country.
The fall of the ANC has been predicted many times before, but the ANC is still adamant that it is the only political party with the right policies and leadership to lead this country in the right direction in ensuring second economic transition. Surely as we enter the new year in 2015 the ANC’s electioneering machine and campaigns will kick-off haste and speed, where the January 10th gathering at the Cape Town stadium where president Jacob Zuma will be the keynote speaker will surely set tone for the coming 2016 local government elections.
Whether the Nkandla scandal, which in the center stage involves president Jacob Zuma will cost the ANC significant votes or not all we can do is to wait and see.
*Teboho Modise writes in his personal capacity*