EFF leader Julius Malema says no amount of political manipulation should undermine the will of the voters. Malema’s comment was posted hours after ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe bemoaned in an interview on 702 that black people do not appreciate the value of voting.
“The will of the voters must be respected; no amount of political manoeuvring should undermine the will of the people,” Malema wrote on Twitter.
Sharing his feelings and thoughts during the radio interview, Mantashe had grumbled that: “Black South Africans have not appreciated fully the value of voting. I know that, in the ANC, when you have a problem with the branch, the first thing they tell you is that they won’t vote. Now that means that they don’t value the voting.”
He mourned that the turnout at voting stations was impressive in the suburbs in the early hours of the morning, which was not the case in the townships, where people opted to go the polls just after 5pm.
An EFF supporter had earlier posted on Twitter that the ANC had itself to blame for pushing the voters to the DA. Some took to Twitter to say that electing not to vote was a democratic choice and it had impact. Others said millions of South Africans were not impressed with any of the political options available, hence they could have chosen not to vote.
Another opinion was that opting not to vote could have been as a result of leaders not listening to the voice of the masses, but protecting one another, and that they were mainly visible during election time.
Speaker of the National Assembly and ANC member Baleka Mbete disagreed.
“I don’t think we have dropped the ball anywhere. I think we put up a good fight,” she said as she visited the ANC table at the electoral commission centre in Tshwane, Pretoria West.
Mbete said politics was a complete picture of everything that was taken into consideration. “Our manifesto is very clear about the areas of improvement. We listened to our people very carefully,” she said. Mbete added that one had to wait for the full results before making any statements regarding issues and incidents in provinces and municipalities.
“Overall, the ANC has done very well. We are not surprised. There were tiny areas of concern, but the ANC is doing very well.”