Opposition divided ahead of SA polls


John Steenhuisen

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – TENSIONS among the opposition, in a bid to unseat Africa’s oldest liberation movement, are intensifying ahead of next month’s watershed elections in South Africa.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), which is the main opposition to the ruling African National Congress (ANC), is accused of discouraging other parties from contesting, particularly in the Western Cape province, where it is the dominant political party.

DA leader, John Steenhuisen, rebuked other political parties for contesting it the Western Cape, a province in recent weeks accused of trying to be a standalone entity, separate from mainland South Africa.

“Why are these political mercenaries in some small parties obsessed with targeting the Western Cape, the only province that works?” Steenhuisen fumed.

He charged the DA must not be contested in the Western Cape, claiming the province created more than 300 000 new jobs in a year, arrested more than 27 000 criminals.

“The real enemy of progress is the ANC, not the DA,” Steenhuisen said.

Fellow opposition denounced his stance.

ActionSA leader, Herman Mashaba, said: “South Africans must be wary of political parties that don’t believe in democracy, and want to treat voters as voting cattle. ActionSA embraces democracy and respects the constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Voters’ choice is respected.”

Gayton McKenzie of the Patriotic Alliance (PA), voiced: “If this man (John Steenhuisen) behaves and thinks in these territorial terms regarding Western Cape and opposition parties publicly, can you for a second imagine how he behaves in close meetings.”

Nathi Radebe observed, “If you are doing so well in Western Cape, why are you scared of the small parties.”

Etienne Shardlow pointed out, “Firstly, these parties are not targeting the WC (Western Cape), they’re contesting elections in all provinces and nationally. Secondly, they’re contesting because the people of the Western Cape deserve so much better and they believe they can do better.”

Moses Nkuna said, “So to you it makes sense to say people should not campaign in the Western Cape?”

Linda Mhlongo argued, “You lack the basic understanding of why elections are held in the first place.”

The opposition have in recent months sought to combine forces to dislodge ANC, which has ruled South Africa since the demise of apartheid in 1994.

– CAJ News

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