Recently there were mutterings of a call to unify the opposition to counter and thus dislodge the ANC from what some believe is too powerful a space and seat it occupies.
Though this is a new initiative its newness is not ostensibly born from a uniqueness for this idea had been mooted immediately after the first 1994 elections. It’s newness is derived from the perceived drivers of such notion.
I am on record for having defined the DA and ID coming together a marriage of convenience. A matrimony in which the DA, is in love with the concept of oppositionalism in which it see itself as the male figure in such matrimony.
The DA & ID union exemplified arguably in two of the most powerful women in SA politics delivered a same-sex union that naturally can’t produce after their own except by adoption. This DA dream has now become the desire of COPE and other small parties, not for the purist of reasons.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the political aim of dislodging a ruling party for in democracy by any means legally that is embraced, allowed for and welcomed. Yet the primary motive for a confederation of parties to soldier together to unseat is less original nor pure.
The Union of Opposition is less honest with all of us for it is yet to admit that the South African voter have not trusted them be it in individual or combined opposition setting. Notwithstanding the victories and growth shown by particularly the DA and COPE, it has not yet won the SA voters nor was it able to table a overarching conglomerated vision for SA which is sold to the SA voting constituency.
The challenge for the Union lies in itself, any time people come together with no lasting common purpose it is bound to destroy itself in pursuance of what they deem their purpose.
This union brings together parties like the ACDP, who started with Christian as the base, but have gradually slipped into Democratic as its base. From its strong uncompromised stand of Christian values against abortion etc, same sex marraige anti-lobby, it became a mouthpiece for violence in justice in advocating and eye for an eye of death penalty call.
This union brings together the likes of the UDM, a dwindling two representative in parliament embrace “party” whose leader claims a space in bantustan definition as Chief. Often arrogating powers and rights that cannot be corroborated by voters trust.
This union brings together, a virtually dead Inkatha Freedom Party who beside being annihilated by the ANC’s growth had been obliterated by the formation of Msibi’s NFP. The NFP has buried the IFP, who in the last three national elections has decisively slid into ever decreasing numbers of voter confidence even having its root base of Kwa Zulu Natal stripped from it.
It brings together a COPE, which is is still court ruled in a litany of court cases of counterclaims exemplified in Shilowa and Lekota factions.
Perhaps some will ask why do call it Lekota’s Call?
I shall first deal with what I choose to call “the Lekota call” which resulted in a preliminary meeting of a cohort of parties defined as the opposition. Lekota in his personal ambitious drive for attaining political power the same he never obtained in the ANC and is found questionable in the COPE factionalized party, has not waved goodbye to such dream of possibly running SA.
Lekota is in a revolving door that got stuck, clearly he cannot and may never return to the ANC, not because such would not welcome him back but because his personal ego is too big for such.
Secondly he cannot rightly claim the COPE leadership which has been for the last thirty two months embroiled in court-case definition with unpredictable outcomes. Anybody who knows Terror will attest that he is like a proverbial bulldog that seldom retreats, if his mind is made up it’s made up and he sees blue if it is red. He now seeks to capitalise on the lack of coherent opposition politics who yet has to find a way to trounce the ANC, by posting as the savior or face of such opposition.
Lekota sees this as a prime opportunity to facilitate a gathering of all opposition parties for he is convinced that only a cohort of agreed strategy can persuade the voters in future elections to move away from the ANC.
Perhaps what justifiably could have been a proven claim emanates from the fact that COPE and the DA scored interesting victories in the last national elections and the numbers shown then if it remained static shows inroads, however the truth is the factionalised state of COPE has seen members leaving in droves and simply cannot claim such voters base anymore.
With courtcases still brewing and it’s outcomes unknown, it makes perfect sense to look for greener pastures at least as far as Lekota is concerned.
Yet to look at Lekota alone to understand the confederation of opposition parties, is not mutually exclusive for him alone, but reflects as mirror for the smaller ones too.
The error of the union is that they do not come together informed by policy convictions, a hope to carve our a constructive future for SA, but the premise is and always will remain the ANC. Typical Oppositional politics are informed led and designed by a the presence of a ruling ANC. If the alliance of union is cemented it is cemented in pet hate of ANC.
This union or alliance of oppoistion merely serves as lifeline to ever dwindling smaller parties represented in parliament by one or two people.
The reason why ACDP, UDM, IFP and who knows else need this alliance is informed by nothing but their leaders personal political survival. Hence the voters are not up for consideration it’s more the leaders that make up the parties defined as opposition.
Another reason behind the Alliance of Opposition is Helen Zille’ personal dream to lead and ultimately rule SA.
Zille if she could her way would have wanted the Western Cape as a country on its own. We therefore can envisage the union of opposition to have a bumpy ego laced manifested in testosterone and estrogen flows galore. One thing is certain their motives for coming the ANC is not pure and though constitutional democracy affords and embrace a multiparty state they with this union intends creating super -opposition against a majority ruled SA of ANC.
Their intentions is not pure hence the ideals cannot be noble and in praxis it will die a natural death usurped by the egos of those who are inebriated with a score to settle, less of voter leading or interest, but personal interest. I would love to see Lekota, Zille, Holomisa, Meshoe and Buthelezi ever submitting to one another, their egos will never allow that.
Clyde N. Ramalaine