Despite a very low level of trust, the ANC will probably win a national majority in the May elections. This is because the alternative parties are trusted even less and people fear — with or without good reason — they may lose what gains have been achieved, such as social grants. In this situation of ‘choiceless democracy’, citizens need to look beyond elections to advance emancipatory values and practices.

The ambiguity of ANC hegemony

It is very likely that the national elections to be held on 8 May will be free and fair and also, that the ANC will be returned with a majority of votes nationally, with varying results in the different provinces.

Paradoxically, this probable ANC victory happens at a time when disillusionment with the organisation appears to be at an all-time high. Constant revelations of corruption and the tainted individuals on its electoral lists and in leading organisational positions, notably, but by no means exclusively, its Secretary-General Ace Magashule, are behind the cynicism with which the ANC is viewed.

The position he occupies means he heads the ANC HQ and can influence what happens in the organisation all over the country. There have, for some time, been allegations of corruption levelled against him. (See the new book by Pieter-Louis Myburgh, Gangster State, Penguin, 2019, which relates a range of alleged corrupt activities in which Magashule is involved)…..more