Thursday, 05 March 2009

Fake Pamphlet: ANC or DA’s Election Tactic?

Recently in ANC caught peddling hoax DA pamphlet, the Democratic Alliance “laid criminal charges against the ANC” Politicsweb reported.

In trying to determine whether this “criminal” allegation was true or not – an investigation led by “ANC National Co-ordinator: Legal and Monitoring Team, Andries Nel, communicated to DA’s National Party Liaison Committee Representation Mike Moriarty and copied to Independent Electoral Commission Chief Officer Pansy Tlakula” – was established and proved such allegation(s) to be untrue and malicious [my own words].

At not stage (if memory still serves me well) has the DA started or said something and finished it without any mention of the ANC.

This tendency could be read by some as an attempt and effort – which at times bears no good results for the DA itself, but gain loyalty for the ANC - by the DA to discredit the ANC as a ruling party especially at the time when the country is about to elect its ruling political party (and hopefully an “innocent-until-proven-guilty-president”) that is progressive and transformed.

However, none of the current active political parties are as “progressive and transformed” as is expected of them (or at least I expect), not even the new out-of-and-back-in-politics Congress of the People (COPE).

Again, it is up to the electorate – who only seemed to be noticed, recognized and taken into account during the election period after which they will no longer exist – to make these political parties as progressively and transformed as reasonably possible to cater for the diverse societal needs and geographical difference in South Africa.

In its allegation against the ANC, the DA said that:

“It is becoming more and more apparent that the ANC are resorting to intimidation tactics to secure votes in this election and are clearly threatened by the growth that the DA has shown in traditional ANC strong-holds. The DA wont be intimidated and neither must the community be intimidated, we will defend our democratic space with all our worth”.

As mentioned before - investigation outcome of the allegation(s) could be read by potential voters for the DA as its attempt to discredit the “[ANC] … to secure votes in this election” …and is “clearly threatened by the growth that the [ANC] has shown in traditional [DA] strong-holds”.

As a result – the “[ANC] …won’t be intimidated and neither must the community be intimidated, [ANC] will defend [its] democratic space with all [its] worth”.

In this allegation (s) against the ANC, the DA turned to be a “disgrace to our society” itself which it accused the ANC of and “knows that the only way they can maintain dominance over the electorate is by [re] playing race politics” and play the blame politics.

More disturbingly, in its allegation statement against the ANC the DA accused Comrade Jeanette Mahlangu, the ANC candidate in the by-election for Mpumalanga's Ward 4 in Steve Tshwete Municipality of distributing the pamphlets.

Given the outcome of the investigation – which all parties have participated in – it was not quite clear at the time of writing whether the DA will or was prepared to apologize for such a malicious and recklessly baseless criminal allegation to the ANC and its comrade, Jeanette Mahlangu.

Both Jeanette and ANC could do with a genuine apology in the media and every- and anywhere else just like the accusation was made!
Political Lesson

Be the change you want to see: stop accusing other parties of serious and malicious offences which would even harm your party further than it would the accused because in the end you and your party may end up being a “disgrace to our society” you accuse others of
In serious matters as these, all parties to the election or any other activity “adopt a cautious approach to communicating publicly regarding matters that are still the subject of discussion and investigation and … moderate the tone of any statements that we do make." advised ANC National Co-ordinator: Legal and Monitoring Team Andries Nel during the outcome of the allegation(s) against the ANC by DA yesterday.

Tips for DA and ANC

In my Tips for “Opposition” Political Parties in SA I advised that:

  1. “Being leader or member of your party, always intensely consider your response – recklessly negligent and somewhat uninformed – to whatever fashion you or your organizations may have been reported on, This is because your negligence and reckless may cause more damage to you as an individual and your organization than that of those who made a statement”. The ANC should therefore be careful of how they would respond to the accusation (which they already have responded to, at least not the “Malema-way” or “Zuma-way” through a machine gun, maybe for just now!).
  2. “Do not work against, but rather work along with other “alternative” parties”. DA’s allegation(s) against the ANC will affect or already has affected its “work along with” the ruling party, if not to a certain extent. And the ANC should avoid acting the way the DA did.
  3. Lastly, “as a leader and member of your organizations – “KNOW WHEN TO SHUT UP” even when you enjoy the attention given or may be given!”. This “know when to shut up” certainly did not appeal to the DA – hence its allegation(s) the against the ANC before such could be proved true or otherwise and it seems to enjoy the media attention and reporting by its serious, maliciously and baseless criminal allegation against the ruling party, ANC.

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