Should the ANC lose a substantial number of votes in tomorrow’s election, a lot of pressure will be exerted on President Jacob Zuma, according to two political analysts.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Professor Andre Duvenhage said: “He knows how to fight back and I think he has put everything in place for his fightback.
“While Zuma has the security cluster close to him, I think there is also a likelihood that he might reshuffle his Cabinet again after the elections to rebalance things ahead of 2017. And should that happen, he might remove the communists who have been openly speaking out against his government and also bring his loyalists, the so-called Premier League – comprising Supra Mahumapelo, Ace Magashule and David Mabuza – even closer to him,” said Duvenhage.
Duvenhage said the possibility of the ruling party losing Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg metros could not be ruled out.
“Yes, the ANC managed to pack the Ellis Park Stadium during their final Siyanqoba rally on Sunday, but that cannot be translated into the elections because such gatherings are not spontaneous. [They] are well organised because many people were bused in from outside Gauteng.
“In real terms, a filled stadium will not have a big impact on the outcome of the elections,” he said.
Commenting on tomorrow’s elections, Duvenhage said he believed some of the hot spot areas could still experience violence.
“The level of securitisation will be high in this election and I also think there will be a record high of court cases beyond the elections,” Duvenhage said.
Another analyst, Elvis Masoga, echoed Duvenhage’s sentiments. He expected heads to roll if the ANC performed dismally.
“If that is the case, the name Zuma will dominate the ANC’s national executive committee meeting after the elections. “But having said that, I think the president will also fight back,” he said.
However, Masoga had a different view on whether the ANC might lose the elections. He stressed that only a strong opposition party could dislodge the ruling party.
“Since 1994, the ANC seemed to have been defying public opinion surveys and the party has successfully projected the elections as a contest between black and white,” said Masoga.
“For instance, someone (a black person) might wake up one morning and decide that he is going to vote for the DA, but while he is in that voting booth, will start thinking about what his parents or grandparents went through before 1994 and decide that he doesn’t want to go back to apartheid … the political psychology of history is something that has been working for the ANC through the years.”
Turning to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Masoga said: “The average adult South African associates the EFF with naughtiness and lawlessness, while on the other hand the party enjoys a lot of support from people as young as 14 who don’t even qualify to vote.
“I think the EFF might perform better in this year’s election, even better than the DA.”
Commenting on the possibility of a violent election, Masoga singled out Vuwani in Limpopo as a possible hot spot. He said the area was unpredictable and volatile.