Posted by: haleymulf | May 11, 2009

Elections

DSCN2539Let me start this blog by saying that I am a very opinionated person. With that being said… one of the most exciting things about being in South Africa this year was getting to experience the elections, especially this one. It was also extremely frustrating that I couldn’t vote  ;). Like I have said before, in December of last year the majority party, ANC, or African National Congress split into two groups. Some of the members decided to leave the party for several reasons and form a new party: COPE, or Congress of the People. This divided black voters, who make up around 80% of the population. When I asked people who they were voting for most of the time it was ANC. One of my friends said that he voted for ANC, even though he completely supported COPE. His reasoning was similar to democratic voters in Oklahoma… the ANC is going to win anyways.DSCN2544 A lot of people also told me that they weren’t going to vote at all because there wasn’t a party that they felt could change South Africa substantially. A woman that I met along the coast, whose parents were English and moved to Zimbabwe before she was born then to South Africa, said that the only person she would ever vote for again is Nelson Mandela (which she knows isn’t possible). The scary part of the ANC having so much support is the leader. Jacob Zuma was indicted more than 700 times on corruption charges and somehow got out of it each time. Recently, they dropped the charges altogether. Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks out against this saying that he should be punished for his crimes, while Nelson Mandela is still seen campaigning next to him. Several years ago he was also accused of rape… which he admitted to. The woman was an HIV/AIDS activist who was HIV positive. Zuma stated that he showered afterwards so that the HIV would not be transmitted to him. This is the leader of a country that has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world. He also has between three and eight wives (the number changes in each article about him) and countless children (19 I think). At the same time, Zuma worked tirelessly during the apartheid to gain freedom for his people, and ANC is the party of Nelson Mandela. Most ads for the opposition party, DA, which has the majority of the Afrikaner votes, include slogans such as “Stop Zuma” or “Don’t let Zuma become like Mugabe”. Mostly, people were afraid of the party gaining the ability to change the constitution. In South Africa, any party that receives two-thirds majority of votes in an election has the power to change the constitution. Luckily that didn’t happen.

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Yesterday was the inauguration of Jacob Zuma, which was in my city, Pretoria. Robert Mugabe was one of the attendees, as was Nelson Mandela (whom I would have been overjoyed to see). The total cost of the “celebration” was 75 million rands… which is a ridiculous amount of money to be spending on something like that when you can’t walk down the street without seeing at least one person sleeping on the sidewalk. I was planning on going until I hit my head the night before and had an incredibly terrible headache. It would have definitely been a sight to see. In the end I believe that the ANC was elected by the majority to lead the country… since that is the case, my full support is with Jacob Zuma, and I can only hope that he will do his best to make South Africa a better place for its people.

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Responses

  1. it’s about time you wrote something on here again…
    and what a gutsy write it was young lady!
    i am so proud of you!
    keep up the good work.

    love,
    your favourite auntie

  2. Applause!! Bravo!!!
    Activist all the way.
    Stop hitting your head.
    It holds precious cargo.
    Donna


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