Tantrums galore as IEC folds its tent

Johannesburg- Political discourse post elections was littered with RnB and hip-hop rants. Had it not been for the presence of the Electoral Commission of South Africa, one could have mistaken the posture of politicians, who donned their top-shelve regalia to that of music divas and divos throwing tantrums because they did not get their Fiji water as demanded in their hospitality rider.

The ANC’s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, was in his element – and what a performance he gave. He was peeved by ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba, who stood firm that his party will not work with the ANC.

He chastised “Showman” for “walking up and down like K-Ci and JoJo singing as if they got something big” at the Regional Operations Centre in Tshwane. “Who said we loved him? We never loved him,” said Mbalula of Showman, borrowing lyrics from Drake’s Worst Behaviour. What an apt song choice given the performance of the top three parties at the polls and their behaviour during the past five years.

He continued to rant about Showman, dare I add whose party has not even began to teeth yet: “His policies are backward. We are not interested in people who think that we are interested in them.”

Mind you, this was on November 3, just after ANC deputy general secretary Jesse Duarte was at pains to  explain that they were not talking to anyone yet about coalitions.

She even noted that at her level “and I’m the most senior administrator in the ANC, I don’t know about it”.

“What I’m aware of is that our coalition team, led by Jeff Radebe, is still meeting. They will report and they have not had a mandate to talk to anyone. They will report to our NWC [national working committee] extended on Friday [November 4], once that happens we will start to formally opening talks with people,” she said.

“Our process is very formal…We don’t have any decision right now that I can communicate with you…It would be completely fallacious to misled you and the public,” she said.

But Mbaweezy was freestyling a different tune; adamant that the ANC  will not beg  and that coalitions are a “two-way street”.

Mind you these are leaders of the same party, who were on the same floor in Tshwane on the same day, singing different tunes to voters.

And herein lies the problem; it is myopic for political parties to mistake Twitter followers, tweets, retweets, likes and comments for support and influence.

If there’s anything that political parties should take  away from these elections is that voters pay attention to their words and actions.

Gone are the days of “Amandla!”, “Siyanqoba”, “Asijiki”, “Tshela Thupa” to rally people up and get them to vote.

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