Despite the African National Congress (ANC) barring its members from attending the controversial South African Politician Awards, some of its cadres attended the ceremony in Cape Town on Wednesday night.
ANC Limpopo chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha was in attendance at the event and walked away with an award for Premier of The Year, while United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa walked away with the Best Parliamentarian of The Year and Politician of The Year, bagging the most accolades for the evening.
ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, although she was absent from the event.
The award for the political party of the year went to Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) for being “able to control and influence public policy; this political party must play an intermediary role, linking the institutions of government to economic, ethnic, cultural, and religious and other societal groups”, according to the SA Politician Awards website.
The withdrawal of the ruling party’s members after saying that politicians are public servants, not celebrities, made a dent on the event, with several noticeably empty tables.
Nominees from the party included President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet ministers, Malusi Gigaba and Lindiwe Zulu.
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni won Best Analyst of The Year, beating his counterparts, Mcebisi Ndletyana, Aubrey Matshiqi and Steven Friedman.