With heightened tensions between the ANC and DA as electioneering campaigns heat up, independent political analyst Daniel Silke said that the ruling party will be using different methods of use of language, metaphors and even racial attacks in order to degrade competition and to alienate them.
On Wednesday it was reported that Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande described articles about President Jacob Zuma and the Nkandla homestead as ‘white people’s lies’.
Nzimande was speaking at the University of Zululand when he said that lies were perpetuated by white people.
Speaking in Nyanga, Western Cape sports minister Fikile Mbalula supposedly made references to witchcraft as he tore into the DA-led provincial government.
“This thing of witchcraft is when a witch does nothing for the people but they still get re-elected. This is what we find ourselves in here in the Western Cape. We are being governed by witches,” said Mbalula.
“These witches are oppressing us, they are trampling on us. Where are the tokoloshes and the (sangomas) so that we can chase these witches away?”
Director of the Political Futures Consultancy, Silke said the ANC has been using these slur tactics against the DA for some time with a good level of success.
“ANC have increasingly used racial phraseology to degrade the DA. This has been a successful tactic in painting DA into a corner that they support minorities. This stunts DA growth amongst black electorates,” Silke added.
Silke doesn’t think the slurs are in contravention of the constitution and a lot more can be expected in the coming weeks.
Apart from using the race card against the DA for electioneering purposes, the ANC are also using discriminating slurs in order to deflect attention from Nkandla as DA has been using Nkandla to discredit the leadership of Zuma, Silke said.
Silke said because of the robust nature of electioneering one could expect a lot more and that political intolerance will be tested.
“We can expect mudslinging and gutter politics. The gloves are off in the last few weeks before an election.”