The more than 60 000 voters who voted for the ANC nationally but did not to vote for the organisation in Mpumalanga province are not impressed with quality of leadership, says political analyst, Mbuso Thumbathi.
The ANC obtained only 858 589 votes in Mpumalanga in contrast to the 918 756 votes it obtained nationally – leaving at least 60 167 votes unaccounted for.
Thumbathi, says that this is a clear indication that voters in Mpumalanga province do not trust the organisation’s provincial leaders.
“It means people of Mpumalanga people are not impressed nor convinced that the leadership quality is what they want. They’d rather give it to (Cyril) Ramaphosa,” said Thumbathi.
The governing party announced last week that Refilwe Tsipane née Mtshweni will continue as premier for the next five years.
In 1999, the difference between national and provincial votes cast for the ANC in the province was a mere 7 382. This was shortly after the organisation announced Ndaweni Mahlangu as the premier of Mpumalanga province.
Mahlangu succeeded first Mpumalanga premier, Mathews Phosa, following acrimonious relations between Phosa and former president Thabo Mbeki.
Then minister of safety and security, Steve Tshwete confirmed during a television interview that the state intelligence services were investigating Phosa, Ramaphosa and Tokyo Sexwale of planning to dethrone Mbeki at the ANC’s national conference in 2002.
When Mbeki appointed Thabang Makwetla as the premier of Mpumalanga, the gap widened even further, reaching 19 000 in 2004.
Again, when president Jacob Zuma appointed David Mabuza as premier, the gap more than doubled to 42 508 and 46 233 in 2009 and 2014 respectively.
ANC spokesperson, Sasekani Manzini said the organisation is yet to assess the elections results and her party’s performance.
“We are yet to have a fully-fledged PEC meeting to analyse the results and decode the message our people are sending to us with this voting patterns.
“We have however noted the difference in the number of votes received by the party in the province and nationally, which we believe could be partly to the reason that registered South Africans could vote anywhere, and if it was not in the province they are registered in, they were only eligible to cast a vote nationally.
“This affected the difference of votes received by many parties and not only in Mpumalanga. So we can only make a conclusion on the huge difference after the detailed analysis we will do in our ordinary PEC meeting and the Lekgotla of the ANC,” said Manzini.
Thumbathi, however, says that some ANC supporters in Mpumalanga did not make a secret that they would not vote for their organisation due to its leaders’ alleged inappropriate conduct.
“There are ANC members who have chosen to vote for Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Mpumalanga, and ANC nationally.
“They decided that ‘We are not abstaining, rather give it to the EFF’,” said Thumbathi.
The EFF, however, only received only 10 000 more members, meaning that the 50 000 could have been shared by the smaller organisations or voters abstained.
The Democratic Alliance and EFF, on the other hand benefited positively from the voting patterns, respectively receiving 2% and 6% more votes compared to their performance nationally.
ANC national election co-ordinator, Fikile Mbalula, got himself into trouble for suggesting that Cyril Ramaphosa changed the fortunes of the organisation after its own polls had placed it at 40%.
Secretary-General of the ANC, Ace Magashule retorted that the ANC’s victory cannot be attributed to Ramaphosa, but the “collective”.
The ANC Youth League in the Free State also lashed out at Mbalula calling his actions “political twerking” aimed at buying a ministerial position in Ramapahosa’s cabinet.
“Mbalula remains warned that his continued political twerking is closely monitored and he must refrain from campaigning for a ministry at the expense of the organisation and through his constant attacks on the duly elected secretary general of the ANC,” reads the ANCYL’s statement.
Mbalula declined to respond to the ANCYL’s charges except to say that Magashule was “allergic” to Ramaphosa.