16 December 2018 - Nelio Nhacuangue
Good took social media by storm, with every second person striking fun at the rather unusual name. The satire went from “goodness, not another party, this is bad” to our favorite puppet, Chester Missing, proposing to establish his own political party called “Not Enough”, with the aim of going into coalition with the “Good party” and collectively be dubbed “Not Good Enough”. This chuckled my funny bone to an extent that I forgot the politics of it all… now back to politics and the reason I am penning this article.
Over the years, we have seen a fair share of breakaway parties. For example, COPE, which broke-away from the ANC and led by former ANC bigwigs Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa, who did very well for their first election by shaking the ANC hegemony, which was not much, but a shake nonetheless. One could argue that EFF is indeed a breakaway party of the ANC, which campaigned against corruption and putting the interests of “the people” first, particularly the black majority. They became known as “corruption busters” and “land pushers.”
This was a welcomed relief to the people who felt forgotten, particularly young people who are continually failed by the governing ANC. This fresh-air became surprisingly choking in the past few weeks, with allegations that the EFF, the protectors of the poor, are fingered in the “Great Bank Heist”, a report looking into the looting of almost 2 billion Rand of pension and burial society monies of rural Venda people from VBS Mutual Bank; and, constant links of the party to shady characters like self-confessed smuggler Adriano Mazzotti. And of course, the attack on the media and the denial of any negative reporting that comes the party's way.
A fall from grace, former corruption busters now nabbed as corruption perpetrators. The Gucci wearing emperor is now walking naked, and sadly, the emperor is somehow oblivious to this fact, as one political analyst [Prince Mashele] sums up the EFF quite interestingly, he says that “The ANC is a university of corruption and the EFF are its graduates”. What COPE and the EFF have in common is the dislike for the ANC. Politics like these often do not have the interest of “the people” at heart. It is effectively factional battles playing themselves out in two different arenas, in this case, different political parties.
Good, a party started by former leader of Independent Democrats and former Mayor
(under the DA) Patricia de Lille, is quite interesting because it doesn't follow the logic of most
breakaway parties. Why do I say that? Patricia de Lille had her own party, the ID, which
dominated the so-called coloured vote in the Western Cape. Motivated by the hunger of power, Patricia de Lille struck a merger deal with the DA which saw the ID being incorporated into the DA, and in exchange, Patricia de Lille would get the mayoral post of Cape Town.
She has been the mayor for almost 7 years. One of the pillars of her party is to do away with apartheid spatial planning and bring previously disadvantaged people closer to the city center and transportation facilities. This she only realised when things went sour for her in the DA. After her fallout with the DA and the corruption allegations, she cries “racism” within the DA and further states that the DA wants to keep the status quo of ensuring that the city is exclusive to the upper-middle class and the affluent. My question is this: she has been mayor for almost 7 years, what has she done for the poor to be closer to the city? When did she realise that the DA is racist?
These are the questions that come to mind when listening to her interviews. Why should people trust Patricia de Lille with their votes if she could not advance their interests when she was in power? What will she do differently? Spatial planning is not a new thing and Patricia de Lille has been privy to this fact long before she became mayor and failed to address it adequately. As an observer, Patricia de Lille is trying to punish the DA because they ousted her for corruption allegations and took away her prestigious mayoral chain.
Patricia de Lille wants to cause the DA an upset in the 2019 general elections and wants to ensure that she becomes a member of parliament as this will guarantee her a pay cheque for the next 5 years. I hope Ms de Lille's party doesn't follow a trajectory of all breakaway parties who become close to being irrelevant after participating in their first election. The likes of the NFP (which come from the IFP) and COPE know this very well.
Aspiring political analyst.
He holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations.