Tomorrow morning I am going to get up and get dressed and I am going to drive my car to the voting station that is a couple of miles from my house. I am going to get out, carrying only my ID book and keys and I am going to go inside and vote. And I am going to know that my vote will not make the blindest bit of difference to the way this election plays out.
Jacob Zuma will be re-elected as the President of South Africa. He will dance, smile, shake hands and be charming, and all the while he will be laughing his ass off at all of us. Because the people who should be receiving the homes, jobs, food, education and futures that the giggling fool promised them – won’t receive them. The people who will make out like bandits will be the Pres and his cronies.
And we will do very little to stop him. Correction – we will do nothing to stop him.
But, I like to look on the bright side, and there may be some hope. If enough people are pissed off enough – they will spoil their ballot papers or vote for someone/anyone else. They will exit the polling station in their township and stick one finger up in the air and shout: “Count this Mr President.” If enough people do that, instead of simply not voting: the ANC will take notice. And if they notice that their grinning leader has less than 60% of the vote … that will concern them. Because that would indicate they are in danger of losing control of the country. And that would not do. So – if he scores less than a C, well they may just take a panga to his back. And put the country in a safe pair of transitional hands until they can figure out what to do. These fellas read their Shakespeare while in exile.
My domestic worker – Florence Nosisi Ngamlana knows what to do. She has already made her plan and she is going to vote for the Democratic Alliance, led by the very-white Helen Zille. “I don’t care. I think she is the best one for the job. And if she wins we will be safe in the Western Cape. And then the others can worry about the rest of the country. That man is a thief, he will take everything.”
I’m not going to get into the sturm und drang of my county’s politics, those of you who are interested in such whimsy will know what there is to know. Those who aren’t – can’t say I blame you. You all do know how we got here, so I am not going to bring that up either. What I will say is that the man who is about to become the leader of this beloved country for another four years is currently under scrutiny by the Public Prosecutor for having spent R238/$23.8 million on a safe post-presidential compound in his rural homeland. Where most people are unemployed, live in mud huts, HIV is rampant and there are no jobs.
He didn’t use any of his own money to build it. He used ours. Which he denies, even though we have a paper trail. And this is not his only legal woe. He has a pile. Yet – there he is, gurning on our ballot sheets, practicing his victory jive.
But – tomorrow I will get up and I will go and vote. Because I still believe in the power of the democratic process. And I will not be one who did not speak out.
As I said – I do like to look on the bright side. Though in this case it may be delusional.