Confident?

It’s a potential watershed day for South Africa today. Yet another no confidence vote on our rotten president in Parliament, but this one has an edge on the previous versions in that it’s a secret ballot. And the opposition parties even had to go to court to get that ‘concession’.

Albeit that the ANC has slowly been losing ground in our comparatively young democracy, it still holds a huge majority. So at least 20% of the ANC MPs must vote against Zuma in order for the motion to pass (assuming that all the opposition MPs also vote that way, which seems (mostly) likely).

JZ and his people have worked hard – in various ways – to ensure that they are well supported within the party. There’s clear evidence of corruption and wrongdoing, but a lot of ANC MPs are involved in those nefarious acts, or they’re willing to overlook them, or they simply don’t care. Previously, anyone from the ANC sticking their anti-Zuma head up above the parapet has been swiftly dispatched, so the secret ballot is an important step. But then what personal reward is there for being on the right side of history if you’re voting anonymously?

Will it be enough to succeed? Probably not, but I’m not sure that anyone actually has any idea. Apart from the fact that the vote might be quite close, there could be individuals who are saying one thing and doing the other – to the benefit of either side. It’s politics, hey?

Here’s how a secret ballot happens in the RSA Parliament.

And if it succeeds, what happens then? This.

If a vote of no confidence is successful the President and the entire Cabinet will have to resign. The Speaker becomes acting president. The NA must (within 30 days) elect a new president from among its members.

So Baleke Mbete as Acting President. Frying pans, fires.

And if it fails?

Personally, I think it will be a bigger blow for the opposition parties that they’d like to admit. This is definitely their best chance yet at removing JZ, and they seem to have high hopes. Of course, they’re going to talk up their chances, but when you put that public face on, you have to publicly accept the consequences if or when things don’t go your way.

That said, every time there’s a no confidence vote in Zuma, it damages and fragments the ANC further, and so they will surely go again. The ongoing danger is that by next time, the ruling party has worked out which MPs voted against Zuma and has moved to… remind them of their party “obligations”, and realign them with the JZ faithful.

There’s an air of expectation over Cape Town today. It feels like a big day. It feels like things could change. But no-one is willing to stick their neck out and call it just yet. Personally, I think that there’s no chance of the vote succeeding, but I’m just a humble bacterium wrangler and world famous blogger, not a political expert. And I really have no problem with being wrong on this one. None at all.

 

Never a dull moment

Just another week in the mad world of South African news.

Triggering just another ANC media release. Except, this one includes this line:

The ANC will leave it to psychoanalysts and scholars of art to debate Mabulu’s narcissistic obsession with the phallus and human genitalia in general.

No matter how crazy you think Western politics has become recently, they are still some distance from matching this sort of banter.

What are you up to today?

Finishing that report at work?
Meeting just before lunch?
Some shopping, perhaps?

Or will you, like the white owned print media oligopoly in South Africa (who for many years have been the allies of the apartheid super structure, providing rationale and intellectual support to the apartheid system), be colluding with forces of darkness to peddle propaganda against the ANC and its government for the purpose of advancing regime change?

I know, it’s a toughie, isn’t it?

Me? Oh, I’m just playing with white blood cells today.
Sorry to disappoint.

Link to the ANCWL press release (for it is they what is paranoid about JZ being ousted).

Done

I’m finished. Someone call a doctor. My sides have split.

Fullscreen capture 2016-08-05 082529 AM.bmp

This then, is the response of the official ANC twitter account to their defeat in Port Elizabeth and their utterly dismal showings in Johannesburg and Tshwane.

If you don’t laugh, you have to cry. It’s either hilarious or it’s tragic. It’s both.

For the other parties, this seeing the ruling party adopting this stance must be like manna from heaven. If this seemingly blind obliviousness continues towards and into the next (general) election in 2019, the ANC is not just going to be beaten, it’s going to be obliterated.

However, for the people, with another 3 years to go before the start of any possible change in government and/or attitude, it’s pretty galling. I don’t think (and the election results do kinda support my view) that things are going well here at the moment. There is a massive amount of dissatisfaction, irritation, anger. I’m not saying that the ANC is solely responsible for this, but nor do I see their current, rather apathetic approach doing enough (read “anything”) to combat it.

Incidentally, I’ve left JZ in the background there on the screenshot because his imperious, somewhat sour, face seems to me to be the perfect analogy (and possibly the biggest reason) for the ANC’s – and therefore South Africa’s – current woes.

UPDATE:Fullscreen capture 2016-08-05 023130 PM.bmp

It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if they’ve actually seen the results…