By: Sivuyile S. Sesi (t) @756Writing
Lindiwe Mazibuko couldn’t really dismantle the African National Congress (ANC), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and National Freedom Party (NFP) vote base in KwaZulu Natal (KZN). Mazibuko did get positioned to be an ideal African woman of 21 century. Career wise she is doing great. Democratic Alliance (DA) placed her as a traditional woman that Africans relate with. In African way a big figure means that you happy and have what you want in life. So she has it all.
We have seen traditional leaders like King Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo of Abathembu joining DA. He is Nelson Mandela’s cousin. Nosimo Bhalindlela has also joined DA. They both from the Eastern Cape. Down on the ground Mazibuko failed to rake in support as it was needed by the DA. Socio politically in KZN she was suppose to attract votes from the Zulus that would vote for IFP and NFP, but would rather want to join their votes to a stronger opposition.
According to Mail & Guardian “The IFP took third place in the 2014 provincial elections in KZN with 416 496 votes, which was 10.86%. It lost out to the Democratic Alliance (DA) by jus 72 934 votes. The DA became the official opposition with 489 430 votes, which was 12.76%. In 2009, the IFP received 22.40% of the vote while the DA at the time garnered 9.15%. Result capturing in the KwaZulu-Natal for the 2014 elections concluded on Friday evening. The ANC retained control of the province with a strong 2 475 041 votes, which was 64.52%. This was up from 2009 when it received 2 192 516 votes, which was 62.95%. KwaZulu-Natal is the ANC’s biggest province and home of its president, Jacob Zuma. In addition the IFP’s support has been weakened by the emergence of the National Freedom Part (NFP) led by former IFP chairperson and respected Zululand mayor Zanele Magwaza Msibi. Magwaza-Msibi left the IFP and formed the IFP in January 2011 just months before the local government elections where her party captured over 10% of the province’s vote. The NFP took 7.31% of the province’s vote this time, coming in at fourth position.”
In South Africa (SA) race and ethnic identity matters to get support. For positions people elect in great numbers leaders from their ethnic to tribal identity and race.
Mazibuko is a role model for every young woman, black and white, who need to make it in this unequal society we live in. As young as she is in her political career she had to face head on with Zuma’s ANC and government out for rural development, characterized by tribalism. For young people in government she had been great, better than the long in politics Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula. With Julius Malema contesting for Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) the young vote has been greatly contested. What if Malema, “the son of the people” himself campaigned for DA this elections? Would there be better DA outcomes? Or in DA he would not have been elected for leadership position? EFF is found to have taken up policies similar to the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), but PAC did worse these elections. There is young ambition between Mazibuko with DA and Malema from ANC to EFF, they out to succeed. My question is, to better do your job to serve the people do you learn the skill from the party or better to have formal education to meet the demands of a professional, high demanding, people involved political position? Such question is important in assessing the suitability and evaluating what had already happened. “Young people are ambitious but often lack the self-belief and practical tools needed to succeed.” Skills portal website stated.
Malema did create a time for change for everybody, young people knows that. But you can tell that many still feel warm in the ANC. ANC still have strong hold provinces still supported as it was during Mandela’s time. Eg Eastern Cape, KZN, Limpopo, etc. In urbanized provinces ANC support is not as much. For an example take Western Cape and Gauteng there is less support, but ANC is still not doing bad. It does hold a significant support in the cities. ANC is either an official opposition if not ruling.
EFF passed the 1 million mark, taking third position and becoming second official opposition after DA. Is it about a leader, Malema, and the people who followed him from the ANC? Will EFF with its policies that are said to be about African interests keep improving its voting support in coming elections? Zuma led ANC won elections with reduced majority. In Zuma’s term there have been complaints that he served or prioritized Zulus, and KZN people for service delivery and positions. He has initiated project more immediate to him, eg Nkandlagate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma his ex wife becoming African Union Commision Chairperson, more funds for NGO’s he chairs, etc. From his approach you find that he believe on what is very widespread for the sectors of society, that one is for the interests of his people first. He with the ANC argued about socioeconomic rights to justify with this Nkandla scandal, saying that socioeconomic rights are provided for in the constitution. Mazibuko had tried her part to show that Zulus are not all like Zuma. Mbeki was against the tendency of leaders to take positions for self interest. He was against for those not open to serving all the diverse people.
With all the shortcomings of holding a government office you have to bear with it. You can’t satisfy everyone. Resources are limited and people want you to deliver. You have to be fair with everyone not just only the community you come from or voted for you. People want quality services, an office bearer should prove that he or she can deliver. Mamphela Ramphele proposed that government officials should be paid as they deliver.
Mbeki did not hesitate to slash Zuma at his government when he was facing corruption charges and his government had great achievements. The economy grew as that is our interest. “Those in senior positions are going to have their moral fibre and leadership skills placed under scrutiny in the foreseeable future according to an employee engagement survey.” Skills Portal stated. Mazibuko questioned Zuma greatly for undue influences to cases like the Guptagate. DA told Zuma to drop relationships with people like the Guptas, as he tended with even with the likes of Shabir Shakes as the president it put his position in a bad light at the expense of those who depend on it. I guess people in our country tend to support leaders with scandals than quality work ethic because a large majority still voted for Zuma.
Mazibuko was so focused with good work ethic in her process based politics. She had been given big responsibility as the DA parliamentary leader at Zuma’s time for the African pride of the education and for the young, especially to attract the born free first time voters. DA believed in her and she did well to prove the trend of malfunction, corruption, laziness, etc by government officials to be not a black thing. She did well in keeping ruling party and its belief to leaders like Zuma accountable.
Mazibuko was there mostly to appeal to the KZN constituency that now has ensured that IFP and NFP are on the top 5 in that province. DA improved its votes in KZN and became the official opposition in that province but a lot still needs to be done to dismantle the peoples tribal identification with ANC, IFP and NFP and the leaders they identify with.
Mazibuko had quit her position as DA parliamentary leader to go study public administration in Harvard University in America. It’s a good for her to study in the Obamas administration and bring the experience. Collectivism drives DA leadership. It is similar to when Helen Zille covered Steve Biko murder story and she has kept well with Ramphele till when she entered politics with her party, Agang-SA. In February Ramphele was offered a position to stand as DA presidential candidate but she turned down the offer to stand for Agang-SA. From the 2014 elections, Agang-SA is in parliament with 2 seats now.
Will the new parties like EFF and Agang-SA keep momentum and do better than Cope? Parties like PAC, IFP, Freedom Front Plus, NFP, etc are getting smaller and smaller every elections. Even ANC won with reduced majority.
SA voting tendencies to a very large extent are determined along tribal and racial lines. Mazibuko failed to gain support on that bases.