The Western Cape (Western Cape) is under siege. The ruling party's rival, the ANC has lived up to its promise to make the Western Cape ungovernable with the run-up to the elections. They are targeting every sector in which the DA is vulnerable and exploiting it to the full.
The constant flare ups of protests from the poor demanding houses; from farm workers demanding more wages; from gang-on-gang violence in Manenberg; and now Pagad, marching against gangsters and drugs, and with bombs going off in residential areas in Athlone, are not "organically-induced" protests. They are the underground work of ANC leaders and their operatives who are combining forces to overthrow the DA. In the mayhem, the police stand idly by, their incompetence glaringly obvious to the public.
Disrespectful of the institutions of democracy and incapable of winning over the electorate, ANC members use dirty tricks, name calling and illegal tactics to tackle DA. Even the deceased Helen Suzman has become a target. Resembling the pre-1994 third force, they will do anything to undermine the legitimate government in the province.
Their foot- soldiers have not hesitated to use human excrement to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the government. Friday's Cape Argus displays a front-page photo of protesters from De Doorns informal settlement, brandishing sticks - Inkatha style - as they marched to the N7 and Potsdam Road - a scene hardly witnessed in the Western Cape. SANCO (the South African National Civics Organisation), a strong supporter of the ANC, are behind these violent protests threatening to continue until their demands are met.
Lest we forget, the third force was a term given to those who made it their business to destabilize the resistance movement in the 1990s, using devious means to camouflage their tactics of sabotage.
The ANC seems to have learnt very well from its predecessors in emulating this evil force in the Western Cape, executing it relentlessly against the incumbent government who, despite its shortcomings, deals with its challenges more diligently than all of the other provinces combined.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Cape Town is ranked as the least unequal City in the country. The UN Habitat Cities Survey of 109 countries put three top SA cities as most unequal: Buffalo City, Ekhuruleni (East Rand), and Johannesburg. Regarding the Gini Coefficient of 2011, East London and Johannesburg ranked .75; East Rand and Bloemfontein ranked .74; Pietermaritzburg .73; Pretoria and Port Elizabeth and Durban .72; and Cape Town .67. This is counter-intuitive, as populists feed off the myth that Cape Town is the most unequal city in SA.
Small wonder these uprisings are not orchestrated in other provinces where conditions are worse. The ANC, of course, cannot protest against its own incompetence. And, if you cannot beat the DA at the polls, then destroy the good that they have achieved since they took over the province. Truth be told, this outpouring of destruction is symptomatic of a deep envy towards the DA's prowess and achievements in the Western Cape. Incapable of developing the provinces where they govern, their undermining of the DA to the extent that they do is an admission that they want what the DA has achieved.
Political competition is part of a democracy and it is the ANC's duty to grow a democratic citizenry for democracy to survive long-term. If they don't, the lawlessness and vigilantism bred by politicians who cannot win arguments at the polls, will become part of the body politic of this country - a body politic that will blow up in their faces in a few years from now. Without daily democracy, there can be no daily citizenship, to quote Ralph Nader.
This article first appeared in Die Burger.
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